Sudbury 21, Beccles 23
Beccles had another fightback victory in London 2NE in a match that looking to be slipping from their grasp in the second half.
From the start the Bulls' pack, playing up the slope, established a dominating pattern of driving play, leading to an early penalty goal from Luke Wade. Beccles were then turned over close to the line and caught on the break, allowing Sudbury's dangerous left winger to finish a flowing move for a try in the corner. The Bulls soon scored a try of their own with Tris Holtzer crashing over from close range, converted by Wade for a 10-5 lead.
Beccles produced some of their most clinical rugby of the season in the second quarter, controlling the tempo of play, leading to Rob Wilson scoring in the right hand corner. This was closely followed by Marcus Sale touching down in the same spot after a fine break. Sudbury looked like they had no answer to the Beccles pack's power but they scored a penalty on the stroke of half-time to narrow the gap to 20-8.
The Sudbury coaching staff changed their game plan at half time, encouraging a quicker tempo and using the wider channels to good effect. They made their way to the Beccles 22 and Sam Williamson was penalised for handling in a ruck. A subsequent failed interception attempt not only resulted in two penalty goals for Sudbury but two yellow cards.
Sudbury used the extra man well and only desperate defence by B & B Skips man of the match Jack Tipple, Gavin Starks and Chris Hinsley thwarted the pacy Sudbury backs.
Beccles were able to establish a foothold in the Sudbury 22 and looked certain to score the bonus point try before winger Chris Frost slipped and was judged to have not released, allowing Sudbury to clear their lines.
A series of fluid plays enabled the Sudbury centre to score wide out to bring the hosts to within a point of Beccles at 20-19. The touchline conversion was struck solidly by the Sudbury fly half to the delight of the large home crowd, giving them a one point lead with five minutes remaining.
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Sudbury looked to have hung on before one final series of charges by the Beccles pack resulted in a penalty 35 metre out.
With the final kick of the game Wade slotted the goal, giving Beccles the win they looked to have thrown away.