Sutton & Epsom end with unwanted record

Sutton & Epsom ended the London One South season with a 100 per cent losing record as they went down 64-31 at Cobham.

Despite getting a bonus point for four tries, Sutton end the season bottom with seven points having lost 26 games out of 26 and Saturday's defeat took them past the 1,000 points conceded mark.

Despite all their tribulations, they can take huge pride in the fact they stuck together, no one deserted the sinking ship.

Not only that, in all their matches including the 90 nil drubbing in Guernsey they continued to play as best they could to the end of each game.

This is a great tribute to coach Jeff Parsons, director of rugby Rowland Cheall and everyone of the many players who have turned out come hell or high water this season.

This spirit was epitomised in this glorious game of rugby at Fairmile Lane on Saturday. Each time Cobham looked about to run away with the match back would come Sutton and score and in fact having the last word with a try in the last move of the match.

If Sutton continue with this spirit into their matches in London Division Two South West next season, it will not be long before they return to London One.

Cobham are a very well drilled and powerful side who play a superb brand of fast rugby showing excellent offloading skills and come onto the ball at pace and from brilliant angles.

Sutton found this at times impossible to deal with and leaked tries but despite this defended with huge determination and proved they are no slouches in attack themselves.

Sutton went two tries down early on, Cobham’s wing Tom Harty taking advantage of an overlap to score in the corner and then left wing Billy Bates ran round Sutton’s defence to score in the other corner, both were converted by fly half Dave Flower.

Sutton looked to be in serious trouble but showing the spirit already alluded to, they came back and after an initial break by fly half Frankie Murray, No8 Matt Whitacker burst through several tackles to score under the posts. Murray converted.

Cobham soon went further ahead when a superb set peice move saw centre Kevin Fisher roar through a huge gap created in Sutton’s defence to score under the posts and then a clever chip kick ahead by Flower was collected by Harty who scored under the posts. Flower converted both.

Sutton were shortly rocked back again when Cobham awarded a penalty five metres out in front of the posts caught Sutton napping taking a quick tap for flanker Jack Davison to score an unconverted try wide on the right. Sutton could easily have folded at this stage but back they came, centre Andy Nicholls charging down an attempted clearance kick, won the race to score next to the posts, Murray converted and at half time Cobham led 33-14.

Two further tries early in the second half from No8 Van Neikirk and Harty for Cobham, the second converted by Flower, still failed to cow Sutton and following a powerful drive by prop Gary Nash flanker Chris Pointing went in at the corner for Sutton, full back Steve Warnham Converted.

They scored again shortly after when young flanker Joe Ridgely broke forward to the line and put hooker Phil Williams in for Sutton’s first bonus point try of season.

Three tries in quick succession for Davison, Flanker Kearsey and Harty for Cobham, two of which Flower converted, soon quelled any thoughts of a Sutton come back.

That grit was still there for Sutton though and with seconds to go in the game they mounted a massive attack, first Nicholls crossed the line but knocked on, then Sutton’s tireless No8 Whitacker smashed through to the line, unloaded the ball to wing Kevin Richens who scored wide on the right.

On Thursday, Sutton take on Wimbledon at Rugby Lane, Cheam in the semi final of the Surrey Trophy from 7.30pm.

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