Weekend round-up: Sudbury rugby extend lead at the top while AFC Sudbury secure point in Essex
Sudbury Rugby Club maintained their unbeaten run and, with Cantabrigians match at Old Brentwoods postponed, extended their lead at the top of London Three North East with a 27-12 home victory over Wanstead.
Early Ethan Wright and Austin Beckett tries saw Sudbury take a 12-0 lead, before going in at half-time, with the whistle bizarrely blown 10 minutes early, 22-12 ahead after conceding twice in-between tries for Dan Cracknell and Scott Harries.
The second half was a battle of attrition with no scoreline until, with Nick Robinson off for the final 10 minutes after the Sudbury full-back received a yellow card, Shaun Smith dived over from a breakaway move to secure a fifth try.
The Whittome Field outfit are now 13 points ahead of challengers Cantabrigian, who they travel to on Saturday (3pm).
In the football, a Terry Rymer first-half strike and a second-half penalty save from the man who conceded it, Marcus Garnham, ensured AFC Sudbury stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games in Ryman League Division One North, leaving them third.
Long Melford also secured a point on the road with a Nathan Rowe goal in a 1-1 draw at Great Yarmouth Town, which leaves The Villagers two points behind Thurlow Nunn League First Division leaders Saffron Walden Town.
First Division Knockout Cup finalists AFC Sudbury Reserves beat neighbours Cornard United 1-0 with a strike from Craig Avery, while Halstead Town lost 2-0 at home to Swaffham Town.
Hadleigh United continued their good run with a 1-0 win at strugglers Diss Town, courtesy of a goal from substitute and ex-Tangerine Danny Thrower.
Norwich City retained the bragging rights in the East Anglian derby with a 2-0 triumph over Ipswich Town on Sunday and move up to third in the Sky Bet Championship, one point off the automatic promotion places.
Bradley Johnson and Lewis Grabban got the Canaries’ goals that leave Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys sixth in the table, two points behind their local rivals.
* For a full round-up of local sport, including match action reaction and previews to the week ahead, as well as our Ipswich Town column, see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press print edition.