It was a great day for Suttonians with both the men and women winning important matches.
First up at 2pm were the men against league leaders Monkstown in Sydney Parade. Playing with the help of a stiff breeze the home side opened the scoring with and early try but thereafter the visitors dominated for long spells. They scored 2 excellent tries from deep in their own territory, one each for centre Conor Jennings and full back Fergus Flood. Shortly thereafter no. 8 James McConnon was hauled down illegally just short of the posts with the line at his mercy. Despite showing a yellow card to the Monkstown winger the referee surprisingly didn’t award a penalty try but Suttonians went over from the resultant penalty, Brian Digan who has been in excellent form recently getting the touchdown. Jennings added the extras.
Facing a 12 point deficit Monkstown decided to abandon their previous policy of kicking to the line and managed to tag on 2 penalties before the break as the wind abated somewhat.
The second half was an even more entertaining affair, a great game for the neutrals in attendance. Jennings crossed for his second to extend the lead but Monkstown again narrowed the gap with a quick try of their own. A wonderful kick through by the returning Conor Wickham set up Oscar Reilly to extend the visitors lead out to 8 points and although Monkstown had the last say with a try at the final whistle Suttonians ran out 29-26 winners.
It was all back to Station Road then for the top of table clash in the Women’s All Ireland League against Galwegians. The Galway women got off to a great start with an early try but Suttonians dominated the rest of the half. Carrie O’Keefe scored another fine try to continue her rich vein of form and her run set up Catherine Martin who took an excellent line and showed great strength and footwork to dot down under the posts. The electric Emily McKeon, pressed into service at scrum half also crossed the whitewash amongst 19 underansweed points for the home side before the break.
The second half was nearly all Galwegians. After some excellent pressure that saw the home side commit too many errors, the scores were tied at 19 all with minutes to go in a rather stop-start second half. Spotting a gap in the pillar defence of the visitors, McKeon scampered through from outside the 22 and with her pace was never going to be caught. Martin added the conversion and although there was just time to restart, Suttonians held firm for the few minutes to run out 26-19 victors. They are now well placed with just 2 games remaining to secure a place in the league final on the 26th of February.
A well earned break next Saturday as the 6 nations takes centre stage, the following week the men host Gorey in their penultimate league game while the women face the long trip south to Ballincollig.