Any Which Way He Can – Fergus Flood Touches The Whitewash Early On
In a game that ebbed and flowed and never without incident, Suttonians gave a hearty welcome to Seapoint who ended on the right side of a tightly fought encounter. This one was not for the faint hearted and from the first whistle Seapoint edged the early exchanges, pinning the home side in their own 22’ with real menace. Such was the ferocity of the early exchanges, onlookers wondered how the home side were going to stand the intensity of the task in hand – but they did and more.
Having conceded the first score after 10 minutes, Suttonians settled to their task and a penalty 13 minutes in, followed by a try from Fergus Flood saw the home side take the lead, before a second try from Matthew Linehan saw Suttonians heading towards the break with a 13-5 lead.
This was aided by a red card to the visitors when their defence sought to divert a Suttonians attack by ramming it into the metal guard rails, just short of the try line, leaving the visitors to play out the rest of the encounter with just 14 men. Nevertheless a try before the interval saw the visitors narrow the gap and Suttonians went into the break just 13-12 in front.
Despite the mist and dank conditions, the intensity of the first half exchanges signalled a second half of fireworks and so it proved. At this point the game opened up, yet giving the home side little opportunity to exert their one man advantage and a well worked try by the visitors, which was followed by an intercept try under the Suttonians posts gave Seapoint a 13-26 lead.
But if the one man advantage had given Suttonians a sense of complacency, with 60 minutes on the clock, a well worked try converted by Jack Ussher saw the home side narrow the gap to six, which teed up a tense final quarter for the supporters.
With the home side very much in the van at this stage, numerous incursions into the Seapoint 22 saw Suttonians unable to translate pressure into points, opting for the tap and go for numerous penalty infringements, when a more considered approach may have yielded dividends.
With the final whistle sounding, Seapoint had held on but this young Suttonians side showed a hearty level of ability and rugby instinct and given time, experience and more miles on the clock, better game management will prove more fruitful and less nerve wracking for the faithful.
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