Ashcroft leads Tabard to victory

Winger scores twice in narrow victory

London League 2 North West

Tabard 18 UCS Old Boys 15

WINGER Dan Ashcroft scored two crucial tries to spearhead a good Tabard win over UCS Old Boys on Saturday.

Tabard had recorded a good win over UCS in the reverse fixture earlier in the year but this was a different UCS team who had been coached to stop the Tabard runners who had created havoc in the earlier fixture and this was evident from the start when Tabard had plenty of possession but could not penetrate the defence.

However, with 10 minutes on the clock, Ashcroft showed how it was done. Taking the pass on the wing some 20 metres out, he set off on a determined run for the corner, a powerful hand off keeping his opposite number at bay and resulting in a dive through the remaining defensive cover for the try.

This gave Tabard a bit of momentum and, virtually from the kick off, Tabard scored again. Tabard had put a deep kick into UCS territory which was replied in kind but it was fielded by full-back Neil Hopcroft who attacked from deep and passed to wing Steve Jenkins just over the half way line. Jenkins kept the move going down the wing and his jinking run took him over in the corner.

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Next it was the turn of UCS. Again, virtually from the kick off, the UCS stand-off, Bradshaw, was given space and he kicked over the Tabard defence for UCS hooker, Henk, lurking near the touchline, to score in the corner.

Although Tabard were still on top, thanks to another fine performance from the tight five, UCS now had the bit between their teeth and a good break down the wing, followed by a kick and chase, by winger Mbamali resulted in another try in the corner.

Tabard replied with a penalty from scrum-half Harry Gough and then Ashcroft got his second try. Ashcroft started the move, passing inside and then a good break by centre Gerry Arasa made the initial ground before passing back to Ashcroft on his opposite wing. Again a determined run took him over for the score in the corner to bring up the half time score of 18 points to 10 in Tabard’s favour.

The second half was almost a reverse of the first with UCS putting the pressure on Tabard and Tabard having their defence tested. Midway through the half a charged down clearance kick gave UCS a crucial score, touched down by Bradshaw and this set up a frantic final 20 minutes in which both sides had their chances but, even after a determined attack from UCS, somehow the Tabard defence held out and Tabard claimed a good win by 18 points to 15.

Next week Tabard travel to Datchworth for a Herts Cup fixture, kick off 2pm.

Tabard: Hopcroft, Ashcroft, Lewis, Arasa, Jenkins, Edwards, Gough, Lake B., Hart, Calnan, Hall, Kenney, Westaway (O’Neill 55m) and O’Connor.

Other score: Tabard 2nd XV 5, Finchley 60.