Dorking showed great character to bounce back from a heavy defeat to earn a narrow victory away to a well-matched Sutton side.
It was the first time the local rivals had met in the league since the 2009-10 season and in front of a good vocal crowd, Dorking took a quick lead.
Winger Mike Terelak collected a high, hanging kick on the run and great hands from flanker Jonny Ellis and full back Ben Hatton put Cameron Osbourne in for a textbook try, converted from the corner by skipper Matt Noble.
It signalled the start of a much-improved Dorking performance where the scrum was dominant throughout. But not before Sutts had struck back hard to be rewarded with tries from Andy Matthews and Kyren Ghumra – the recipient of an outrageously fortunate bounce – both converted by former Dorking No9 Steve Munford.
Dorking kept their heads up and Sutts error-count frustrated them to the point where lock Felix Symonds unleashed a volley of punches on centre Fraser Macdonald. His inevitable red card was the signal for the home side’s confidence to begin to ebb away.
Against the run of play and down to 13 players, a Munford penalty extended Sutts lead to 17-7 before Dorking made their man advantage count. Terelak took the ball at 10 in broken play, made a break and fed Joseph Mogaji for a powerful run down the line to score, reducing the lead to 17-12.
Minutes later rampant Dorking exploited their advantage down the left again after a poor clearance kick with Noble making the break for man-of-the-match Terelak to score, the Noble conversion giving Dorking a lead they would not let go.
The final minutes were tense with Jasper King seeing yellow and Dorking under the cosh as Sutts rallied, but Noble kept cool in the final nail-biting minutes with some astute kicking to put Dorking back to winning ways.
Director of Rugby Armand Roux said: “After the heavy defeat against WP the week before the guys were really driven to produce some good rugby. And they delivered. 19-17 is a tight result but one full of character in a tough game.
“Our scrum was dominant from the start and so much so that Sutton opted for lineouts instead of scrums. That was really satisfying to see as were the rollling mauls which made us yards at every opportunity.”
Roux had special words of praise for senior player Mike Terelak, a winger playing out of position at 13. “He had one of his best games in a Dorking shirt which was really pleasing to see and he took his try superbly.”
Looking ahead to the visit of top of the table Hertford on Saturday, Roux added: “Actually we can’t wait. On Saturday the boys finally started clicking both in separate units and collectively. We know Hartford will bring some momentum but we just picked some up too and will be raring to go.”
Squad: Ben Knight, James Catton, Ben Edwards, Steve Howorth, Jasper King, Jonny Ellis, Oli Edwards, Harry Watts, Zach Woodcock, Matt Noble (c), Cameron Osborne, Fraser Macdonald, Mike Terelak, Joseph Mogaji, Ben Hatton, Subs: George Evans, Robbie Fee, Stuart Watkins