Parsons delighted at Sutton & Epsom's resilience in the face of adversity

Sutton & Epsom overcome all the odds to stay top of the tree

On the move to the white line: Mike Cartledge was on the scoresheet against London Cornish SP70814

Full of praise: Jeff Parsons was delighted how his charges overcame the weather and a tough opposition SP71169

First published in Sport Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Sutton & Epsom head coach Jeff Parsons heaped praise on charges after they overcame the weather and a solid London Cornwall side to stay top of London Division One South.

Skipper Matt Whitacker led from the front with a hat-trick of tries, and a fourth try from Mike Cartledge, plus 10 points off the boot of Frankie Murray, meant the game was a relatively comfortable 30-15 triumph.

The match had been scheduled to be played at London Cornish, but a water-logged pitch caused it to be switched to Rugby Lane.

Parsons said: “It was a tough game, but the lads were superb while the conditions were horrendous. It was so windy and wet that we struggled to play our quick, incisive style.

“We had to come from behind a couple of times. Cornish are a big and heavy side, but in the end we played them at their own game and all credit to the lads for doing that.”

He added: “It was very important for us to win bearing in mind the game was moved to our ground and reclassified as a home game.

“Losing would have been a disaster, especially going into this two-week break.”

Sutton now have a weekend off, before returning to action with the visit of Teddington on December 8, and Parsons is pleased to give some of his players the time off to recuperate. However, not everyone will be rested.

“It’s good that some of the lads will get complete rest,” Parsons said.

“But we have a club ethos that says it is not just about the first team. Although we’re not playing, some of the lads will drop down and help out the lower teams. Whereas we’re hoping others will be able to come back from injury come the Teddington game.”

Parsons is hoping to have centre Pete Matthews and second row Mike Blakeburn back soon, although they are not guaranteed a spot in the starting line-up.

He said: “We’re really hoping to get them back because they are missed, but that said, the lads playing at the moment are doing the business so there are no guarantees.

“It’s good for players to know that they may not walk straight back into the team, and that they may have to turn out for the seconds.

“It keeps everyone on their toes, even the players with really quality coming back from injury.”

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