Cartledge at the double as Sutton eye immediate return to London League One South
Sutton & Epsom have opened an eight-point lead at the top of London Division Two South East after a comfortable 20-9 at Old Reigatian.
A brace of tries from Mike Cartledge, along with a Shawn Renwick effort and five points kicked by Steve Warnham, were enough to come from behind and take a win back to south west London.
The first 15 minutes were fairly evenly contested but from then on Sutton & Epsom dominated territory and possession and really have only themselves to blame for not scoring more tries.
They squandered three absolute walk-in overlaps when white line fever took over, while Reigatian, except for a spirited last two minutes of the match, never looked capable of crossing the visitor’s try line.
Reigation took an early lead thanks to the inch-perfect kicking of their fly half Nick Grant but this was soon negated when Sutton’s wing Warnham slotted one for Sutton just on 15 minutes.
Sutton then pounded at the Reigation line for the next 20 minutes until from, a five metres line-out, Sutton’s pack drove over the line and number eight Renwick got the touchdown - the conversion went just wide.
From the restart, Sutton gave away a penalty, which Grant kicked, but at half time Sutton led 6-8.
After the break, Reigatian saw very little of the ball and were forced to defend deep in their 22 for 25 minutes.
Their defence was superb, aided it must be said, by some poor play options from the visitors and Sutton’s try when it did come was a surprise to both sides.
Sutton won ruck ball by the left touch line some less than perfect passes eventually saw the ball arrive in the hands of right wing Cartledge who showed how lethal he is one on one by showing the ball inside and then running round his opposite number to score wide on the right - the conversion was missed.
Once again, almost from the kick off, Sutton gave away a penalty which Grant kicked to keep Reigatian within losing bonus point territory.
However, this was soon taken away from them when a speculative kick ahead by Sutton’s scrum half Frankie Murray was patted down to Cartledge who sprinted in unopposed wide on the right, and Warnham converted.
With two minutes to go, Sutton gave away a series of penalties which allowed Reigatian to work a position deep inside the Sutton 22, they hammered away but could not conjure a way through Sutton’s well-ordered defence.
Sutton’s next game is at home to Guildford January 5 (kick off 2.30pm).