Cup success could inspire Suds to avoid drop

SUDBURY take a break from their battle to avoid relegation on Saturday when they travel to Stowmarket for the quarter-final of rugby’s Chadacre Suffolk Cup (3pm), a trophy coach Mark Bolton has set his sights on.

“We want to win this competition,” he said.

“We have targeted getting through to the final, and this match will be good preparation for our crucial game against Beccles the following week.”

Sudbury are in the bottom three in London League 2NE, one point behind Beccles, and three above Old Streetonians. With Harlow totally adrift, a further seven points behind at the bottom, it’s a question of which one of the three fellow strugglers joins them in going down.

Sudbury suffered a 15-12 defeat at Saffron Walden at the weekend, their fifth on the bounce. They are at home to Beccles on Saturday, March 28, and finish the season at Ipswich on April 9.

“It’s in our hands,” said Bolton. “If we beat Beccles we are safe. It’s a massive game for both of us, my final home game as coach, and I aim to make sure we are safe before going to Ipswich.”

Bolton, who leaves the club at the end of the season, felt Sudbury were a little unlucky not to get more from their visit to Saffron Walden. “But crucially we got a bonus point which moves us away from Old Streetonians”.

Saturday’s Cup game, against a team going well in Eastern Counties Division One will, he feels, “be a good test for us, and I think it will be much tougher than people expect”.

Bolton has used 45 players this season, which he thinks has been a good learning curve for the younger players in the squad.

“They have skill and talent, although we just miss that little bit of physical presence that comes from experience. Stowmarket will give us a good test. It’s a derby game, and we know they will be up for it.”