Bonus point after brave and battling effort from Tabard the very least they deserved
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
A four-try bonus point was the very least Tabard deserved despite suffering a 43-24 defeat away to Stevenage Town.
It was another makeshift side that travelled north to face a Town side who still harbour outside hopes of promotion from London Three North West.
And despite having forwards filling three of the backs positions, the Radlett side surprised the home side with some committed play that every player contributed to.
They got the scoring underway after just five minutes with some well-structured rugby taking them into Stevenage territory.
A high tackle was penalised and Tabard, showing their confidence, chose a scrum.
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From there the ball went to Dan Calnan, playing at inside centre, before finding Jack Reilly who dummied his way over.
Stevenage responded quickly with a couple of well taken tries of their own from Phil Pearson and Jesse Tipene to take the score to 12-5.
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But back came Tabard and when Stevenage were reduced to 14 men for collapsing a maul, they levelled things up.
Jamie Hancock got it, charging down an attempted clearance before regathering and giving Jack Reilly the chance to add the conversion.
Hancock departed soon after following a clash of heads with Dan Calnan, who also left the field, and those losses disrupted the visitors’ play.
And it gave Stevenage two tries, Conor Mitchell and Ian Crompton the scorers, and thanks to another conversion from Gareth Lewis, a 24-12 half-time lead.
The home side kept the pressure on after the restart and a brace of tries from Alex Banna after the restart made Tabard’s chances of snatching victory even more difficult.
But to their credit Tabard began to narrow the gap.
A good break by Tom King made good ground and when Stevenage conceded a penalty full-back George Gough crossed for their third try.
And they were able to bag the bonus point with five minutes remaining.
Again choosing the scrum rather than a kick after Stevenage were penalised again, the ball was recycled to Reilly who barged over.
Mitchell’s second late on was cruel on Tabard who will take plenty of confidence into their final home game against Finchley on Saturday.