First win of 2014 snatched away from Tabard

Tabard came very close to getting their first win of the new year on Saturday but a late score by Romford saw the home side taking victory by just one point, 20-19.

In the wet and blustery conditions, Romford had the elements behind them but it was Tabard who put on the early pressure, keeping their opponents inside their own 22 metre area.

Tabard’s superiority had to tell and, eventually, after nine minutes, Tabard opened the scoring. A penalty was awarded just short of the line and flanker Cam O’Connor took it very quickly. A couple of surges to the line were finished off by number 8, Aaron Pristcott, who dived through and touched down as he was tackled, stand off Jack Reilly converted and Tabard were seven points clear.

Then Tabard’s jinx struck again. A probing kick behind Romford was brought back on the wind, the Romford wing, Coomber caught the ball going forward and ran on over the line, to score a try converted by centre Phillips and the sides were level. Phillips then converted a penalty and Romford had the lead.

Although the play was not quite as cohesive as at the start, Tabard were still in the game and from a line out the ball was passed quickly down the line, full back Elliot Hurrell made the initial ground before wing Tom King accelerated clear to touch down for the try.

The sides then battled hard for the rest of the half but the teams turned round with Tabard ahead, 12-10.

In the second half the conditions deteriorated but both sides had their good spells before Romford stretched their lead with another penalty, then Tabard showed their mettle once again. Reilly put in a deep kick behind the Romford defence and wing King pursued the ball, fielded it well and touched down in the corner for the score. Reilly added the extras with a good kick from the touchline.

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With just minutes remaining Tabard looked set for the win but their luck deserted them again. A fly hacked kick by Romford from deep, was fielded by Tabard but the Romford players were allowed to tackle the catcher even though they were all, seemingly, offside.

Tabard were then penalised for holding on, Romford used the penalty to gain ground and eventually forced their way over the Tabard line with second row Catchpole claiming the try, Phillips converted and Tabard had to accept another defeat by the narrowest of margins, 20 points to 19.

Next week Tabard have no fixture. The next game is at home to Westcliff, on February 8, kick off 2.30pm.

Team: Elliot Hurrell, Jermaine Ijieh, Joe Calnan, Gerald Arasa, Tom King, Jack Reilly, Liam Kenny, Bill Lake, Tom Davies, Jack Girdlestone, Dan Calnan, Cam O’Connor, Brad Webber, Scot Stoba and Aaron Pristcott. Replacements: Wilf Lake, John Aguila and George Stevens.