Sudbury 20 Upminster 27
A HAT-TRICK from winger Shaun Smith was unable to prevent Suds from going down to their fourth straight defeat on Saturday, despite taking a 20-3 lead into the interval.
Sudbury started the game well and retained possession through several phases of play, but it was the visitors who were to put the first points on the board when they kicked a penalty from just inside the Sudbury half.
Sudbury held territorial advantage and from a lineout just in the 22-metre line, they put the ball out quickly to the wing for Shaun Smith to score with 10 minutes on the clock.
Smith scored a second try after 22 minutes when they stole the ball just inside their own half and once again shipped it wide, Smith chipping over the last defender to run through and touch down.
Sudbury maintained pressure on Upminster, eventually forcing them offside just in their own 22 and Tom Summers slotted over the kick.
Smith completed his hat-trick from a breakdown in the centre of the park. Again quick hands took the ball out wide for him to score and run round under the posts with Summers converting for a 20-3 lead at half-time.
Sudbury kicked off the second half, now playing down the hill, and inexplicably hit the self-destruct button, anxious to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.
After five minutes, the game degenerated into a scrap, Upminster received a yellow card but for Sudbury it was red for Josh Rix.
Sudbury never recovered from this and Upminster took control, gone was the snappy passing to the wings and with a man down defending became more difficult.
Two tries and a penalty brought the scores level with a couple of minutes left and in time added on Upminster scored the winning try and conversion.
n The game at Whittome Field on Saturday was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of D E ‘Sandy’ Sanders, a former representative of Eastern Counties and Suffolk rugby who gained nine England caps, and a past president of the RFU, who died recently.