Sutton & Epsom coach left frustrated by a season of injury woe

Man with the boot: Sam Hurley                All pictures: Dave Jackson

Man with the boot: Sam Hurley All pictures: Dave Jackson

First published in Sport
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Sutton & Epsom RFC’s head coach Jeff Parsons has felt the frustration of a difficult return to London Division One South.

The side lost their final match of the league season on Saturday going down 33-30 at Dover to finish 10th in the table.

Having been promoted the season before, Parsons admitted he would have taken 10th at the beginning of the season.

However, a raft of injuries has meant 55 players have taken to the field over the season, leaving Parsons wondering what could have been.

“There have been games where we should have won, but come up a little short,” he said.

“Maybe we’ve lost by a single score, or a last-minute try, but we seemed to be on the wrong side week in week out.

“There is very little to choose between a lot of teams in the league, and any one of the six teams above us could easily have finished where we did.”

He added: “The main problem we have had is injuries.

“It was a huge blow to lose our skipper [Matt Whitaker] for most of the season as he is our talisman and the first name on the teamsheet.

“But we’ve had to use 55 players over the season, we’ve had to dig very deep into the reserves to the extent that some guys who started the season in the fifth team, ended it in the first.”

Despite his frustration, Parsons hailed the efforts of those who made the step up, as well as the experienced hands who held the side together.

He said: “James Caddy has been phenomenal, as have the stalwarts Shawn Renwick, pictured, and Mike Blakeburn. Raynn Bruce has also been superb, you would not know he is 37 years old.”

Sutton’s domestic season is not over yet as they face Guildford in the semi-final of the Surrey Trophy on April 26.

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