BROMSGROVE survived a real battle before pulling off a 15-10 success at Sutton Coldfield this week to stay level pegging with Newbold at the top of Midlands West One.

Head coach Dan Protherough said: "Sutton played well and their defence was excellent. I was just happy to come away with the win."

It took a piece of quick thinking from hooker James Gunter to open Bromsgrove's account when he caught Sutton out with a smartly taken tap penalty to break clear and burrow over in the corner.

But Sutton struck back with two unconverted tries to lead 10-5.

Protherough added: "The match turned when Sutton missed a fairly straightforward penalty shot at goal.

"We went back upfield and scored a penalty of our own through fly-half James Upton.

"Then from the very next play, prop Ethan Priest made a telling break before setting centre Ed Spalding free to race 35 yards and score for Upton to convert.

"It was a real battle at times but it didn't help that we missed five kicks at goal.

"In fact I thought we were slightly off the pace and lacked the intensity of the previous week's win over Stourbridge Lions.

"But Dudley Kingswinford's defeat at Stoke shows just how tight the division is this season."

Bromsgrove can expect another tough battle when they entertain in-form Whitchurch this Saturday at Finstall Park 2.15pm kick off).

Protherough has already run the rule over fourth-placed Whitchurch this season, he said: "We need to make sure we get our urgency and intensity right.

"We could also do with a big crowd behind us as this could prove a very tough fixture".

(Pictures by Andy Jepson)