Letchworth Garden City 33 Sudbury 21
Sudbury hoped it would be rosy in the garden this week but again came away disappointed, following a 33-21 defeat against a Letchworth side who had lost five of their last six before Saturday.
Once again it was another close-fought game with both teams having the upper hand as play ebbed and flowed up and down the pitch.
Sudbury started at pace and soon took the lead as they pressurised the City line.
Twice they were held up just short, but Henry Cowling eventually touched down after two five-metre scrums with only four minutes played. Chris Lewis converted for the extra two points.
The home side were taking their own ball at the set pieces and scored after 10 minutes through their standoff, who broke from a move in the 22 which was converted.
As the half progressed, Letchworth had more of the play and Sudbury struggled with their lineout.
It was a lineout in the Sudbury 22 that gave Letchworth the ball and they drove forward, eventually releasing it to the nine, who scored half an hour into the half.
In time added on, Letchworth made a deft crossfield kick to stretch the Sudbury defence and scored wide on the left to finish the half 21-7 ahead.
Sudbury kicked off the second half and again started the half well; a good break from Jonny Taylor put the Blues deep in the City half with a five scrum. Sam Maile finished the job and Lewis converted.
This was probably Sudbury’s best period of the game. The backs put some good moves together and put the home side under some pressure, but their defence was solid and a few unforced errors prevented Sudbury adding to their tally.
It was not until the final 10 minutes that Letchworth broke to score again for the bonus point, but Sudbury were not done as Sam Maile again made a dash for the line to score and close the gap to seven points with three minutes left to play.
Sudbury were to be dealt a final blow as an intercepted pass gave the home side a clear run down the wing to score as the final whistle blew.
Overall it was a disappointing result for Sudbury as this was a game they could have won, but they made unforced errors and were not up to their usual standard in the set pieces.
n Sudbury host fifth-placed Thurrock on Saturday (3pm).
P W D L Pts
1 Tring 12 12 0 0 57
2 Brentwood 12 10 0 2 50
3 Chingford 12 10 1 1 49
4 Eton Manor 12 8 1 3 41
5 Thurrock 12 7 2 3 37
6 Walsham 12 7 0 5 36
7 Saffron Walden 12 5 2 5 31
8 Fullerians 12 4 0 8 24
9 Ruislip 12 3 0 9 21
10 Letchworth 12 5 0 7 20*
11 Priorians 12 3 1 8 19
12 Chelmsford 12 2 0 10 12
13 Barking 12 3 0 9 10*
14 Sudbury 12 1 1 10 7**
*-5 unregistered player
**-5 ineligible player