First Team Sub
Apr 30, 2011, 5:21 PM
Saturday 30th April 2011
Midlands 1 Promotion Play-off
Sutton Coldfield RFC 27 v Mansfield RFC 33
Admission - £4 non members £2 members
Programme – included in admission. A better effort than the Banbury match, 20pp and colour photographs!
Refreshments – Godamnit, no free buffet this week …… however, they were giving away free “Green Army” teeshirts! The XL just about fitted me …
½ Strongbow £1.30, hot pork roll £3 (a tad overpriced in my view)
Attendance - 427 by h/c at HT, hopefully not too far adrift.
A good crowd for this one, which was probably one of the bigger games in Sutton Coldfield’s history, but as ever, they were the perennial bridesmaids. Mansfield looked a solid side with hard running flank forwards, and played a canny game, waiting to capitalise on Sutton’s mistakes. They’d obviously been studying tapes …..
Rather than traditional green, Sutton turned out in a slightly strange white strip which seemingly sported more advertising than the programme. After an early exchange of penalties, Mansfield winger Hough intercepted a Sutton pass down the line and ran unchallenged for 50 yards for a try under the posts. Early niggles saw Leicestershire Society referee Shaun Porter sin-bin Mansfield No.8 Caladine, and Sutton took advantage of this to level and then take the lead with converted tries by Ward (26m), jinking through the defence, and winger Burchill (30m) with a run down the touchline. And Sutton made it 24-10 just before half-time when White scored from close range.
However in the second half, playing now against a stiff breeze, Sutton failed to maintain control. There were numerous offsides in defence and wrong options taken in attack – to much kicking away possession. Mansfield were back to 24-20 after 58m with a penalty from Lee Shaw, then an unchallenged try and conversion from the same player. A 65m penalty by Poulton restored Sutton’s 7 point lead, but a Lee Shaw penalty made it 27-23 after 68m setting up a tense finish, and inevitably, on 78m, Mansfield scrum half Adam Shaw darted in, Lee Shaw converted and it was effectively all over for Sutton. And a final Lee Shaw penalty deep into stoppage time completed the scoring.
Sutton Coldfield cannot have any complaints, in my view, too many errors were committed, which has often been their downfall in matches I’ve seen here. If they’d achieved promotion, I’d have had doubts about their survival in National 3 Midlands; however, that’s all rather academic now …..
(This post was edited by Ostrich on Apr 30, 2011, 5:21 PM)