Bonus point after brave and battling effort from Tabard the very least they deserved

PUBLISHED: 06:56 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:02 28 March 2019

George Gough goes over the line to score in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

George Gough goes over the line to score in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

A four-try bonus point was the very least Tabard deserved despite suffering a 43-24 defeat away to Stevenage Town.

Gareth Lewis restarts in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOGareth Lewis restarts in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Jack Reilly slips a tackle from Alex Banna in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJack Reilly slips a tackle from Alex Banna in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Liam Kenny in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOLiam Kenny in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

They got the scoring underway after just five minutes with some well-structured rugby taking them into Stevenage territory.

Liam Kenny in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOLiam Kenny in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

A high tackle was penalised and Tabard, showing their confidence, chose a scrum.

Stevenage Town in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOStevenage Town in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

From there the ball went to Dan Calnan, playing at inside centre, before finding Jack Reilly who dummied his way over.

Jesse Tipene plays a pass in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJesse Tipene plays a pass in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Michael Wilson goes in between two Tabard players in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOMichael Wilson goes in between two Tabard players in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

But back came Tabard and when Stevenage were reduced to 14 men for collapsing a maul, they levelled things up.

Morgan Bunning in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOMorgan Bunning in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Jamie Hancock got it, charging down an attempted clearance before regathering and giving Jack Reilly the chance to add the conversion.

Philip Pearson holds off a tackle in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOPhilip Pearson holds off a tackle in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Hancock departed soon after following a clash of heads with Dan Calnan, who also left the field, and those losses disrupted the visitors’ play.

Bill Lake in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOBill Lake in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Fans watch the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOFans watch the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Fans watch the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOFans watch the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

But to their credit Tabard began to narrow the gap.

Liam Kenny makes a pass off the back of a ruck in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOLiam Kenny makes a pass off the back of a ruck in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

A good break by Tom King made good ground and when Stevenage conceded a penalty full-back George Gough crossed for their third try.

Stevenage go over to score a try in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOStevenage go over to score a try in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

And they were able to bag the bonus point with five minutes remaining.

Gareth Lewis looks for a pass in the tackle in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOGareth Lewis looks for a pass in the tackle in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Again choosing the scrum rather than a kick after Stevenage were penalised again, the ball was recycled to Reilly who barged over.

Bill (left) and Wilf Lake (right) in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOBill (left) and Wilf Lake (right) in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Mitchell’s second late on was cruel on Tabard who will take plenty of confidence into their final home game against Finchley on Saturday.

Jack Reilly restarts in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJack Reilly restarts in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Chris McGrath in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOChris McGrath in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Jack Reilly breaks the tackle from Jesse Tipene to score for Tabard in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOJack Reilly breaks the tackle from Jesse Tipene to score for Tabard in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

Marcus Bunning fumbles a catch from the restart in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOOMarcus Bunning fumbles a catch from the restart in the match between Stevenage Town RFC v Tabard. Picture: DANNY LOO

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