Sutton & Epsom 38 - 24 Brentwood, London and South East Premier Division
By Matthew Burr
Brentwood lose again to a top 3 team
With the ever-increasing injury list further depleting both forwards and backs Brentwood travelled to Cheam to take on another top 3 team in Sutton & Epsom. With captain Ben Amato & Adam Thomas (Shoulder) and Tijde Visser (Neck) ruled out Burr moved to 12 and Josh Stannard returned to starting lineup. Ben Patterson returned from injury to start at 8 and young Fraser Parris made the match day squad for the first time and started on the bench. These changes added to the disruption in the team and saw Brentwood struggle to cope with their free running opponent early in the game.
The hosts started strongly but failed to get on the scoreboard until the 12th minute with a converted try, Brentwood hit back almost immediately with a Bradley Burr penalty, 3 minutes later he missed the chance to add another 3 points when he hit the upright from wide out. Sutton added 2 more tries before halftime, both expertly converted by their fullback but Brentwood kept themselves in the game on the stroke of halftime with a strong finish in the corner by Josh Stannard, Burr added the extras and the score was 21-10.
Brentwood were on the wrong end of a dubious decision by the referee straight from the kickoff for the second half and were put on the back foot by some strong Sutton play, succumbing to a well worked try that brought up the hosts’ try bonus point. Brentwood were not to be denied soon after when Josh Stannard scored his second try of the game, collecting a fine Burr grubber to crash over, the extras were added again and Brentwood had some momentum, Sutton silenced the visiting support and hit straight back when their winger outpaced the Brentwood defence to score a brilliant individual try. Another came soon after and the visitors were now looking for a consolation score, it came with the last play of the game, Ed Hornby created space, beat 2 men to pass inside to Jack Richards who took the ball superbly to score under the posts.
Another loss to a top 3 side but Brentwood should take heart from a good performance and only a blistering 15 minute period from Sutton where they caused Brentwood a lot of problems with their strike runners hitting space was the big difference between the sides. Brentwood caused them trouble all game and at halftime there was a sense that they could get something from the game, it’s a mark of the higher level that teams do not capitulate as was the case last year.
Team: Bevans-Royston, Payne, Mcmillan, Killington, Suttle, Aldous (C), Bassenger, Patterson, White, Lucas-Roast, Batty, Thomas, Burr, Pollinger, Hornby Subs: Richards, Wells, Parris