High and Mighty: Suttonians’ Matthew Linehan At Full Stretch
Suttonians head into the Christmas break in a comfortable 4th place in the league table after a convincing win over Boyne by 27 points to 18. Having suffered defeat to the same opposition on the opening day of the season in Drogheda, there was a whiff of revenge in the air for the home side who felt they hadn’t done themselves justice in that earlier fixture.
They got off to the best possible start, the impressive Fergus Flood making great ground down his wing to dot down, Jack Ussher adding the extras for a 7-nil lead. He was followed over shortly after by hooker Simon Feeney who showed great pace to open up a 12 point gap. The visitors came back into the game though with a converted try of their own, followed by a penalty to close the gap to 2 and approaching half-time they again crossed the whitewash to take a 15-12 lead into the break.
The home side responded well in the second half, the front row of Peter Reilly, the evergreen Gar Connolly, the aforementioned Feeney and substitute Jack Walters began to dominate at scrum-time and the Suttonians line-out continued it’s excellent recent form to provide a strong foothold in Boyne territory and enable the elusive full-back Darragh Henry to cross the line twice, Jack Ussher converting one and also adding a penalty to deny the visitors a losing bonus point.
It was an excellent second half performance by Suttonians despite losing their captain and driving force Rory Litchfield to a knee injury. To limit the visitors to just 6 second-half points and keep their line intact, with some wonderful defence when required, was no mean achievement as the very strong Boyne half-backs tried to dictate the pace. So all in all, a very satisfactory afternoon’s work.
The seconds were not so lucky, coming out the wrong side of a high scoring game with the same opposition earlier in the afternoon. Later that evening in Galway the women’s team relinquished their hold on the All Ireland Conference title, going down by to 15-10 in the semi-final to a Galwegians team they had beaten in last season’s final. It was though a far better performance from the Sutton girls than of late in a season that so far has failed to ignite and match the highs of the previous one.