King of the castle helps Tabard to convincing win over Stockwood Park
PUBLISHED: 06:50 17 January 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2016
A hat-trick of tries from Tom King and eight in total lifted Tabard up to seventh in London North West Two after a 48-29 win over Stockwood Park.
It was a convincing victory for the Radlett-based rugby club against the bottom side and would have been by a bigger gap had they not taken their foot off the gas late on.
As well as King’s trio of scores, Cam O’Connor got two and Neil Hopcroft, Aaron Priscott and Jack Girdlestone managed one each.
Jack Reilly added four conversions.
After a sluggish start, where the visitors to Cobden Hill opened the scoring, Tabard started to turn the screw.
O’Connor went in for Tabard’s first two tries, the first from a quickly-taken five-metre penalty and the second touching down after a 5m scrum had been driven over the line.
Park hit back with their second minutes later but King ensured a healthy lead, and a bonus point, with two scores.
Tom King picked up two tries before half time, the first when good supporting play by Neil Hopcroft allowed him in to the corner, the second when he latched on to a dropped ball in midfield and out sprinted the visitors defence to score under the posts. Jack Reilly added the conversion to take the score to 24 – 10 at half time.
That 24-10 half-time lead was extended dramatically in the second period.
Full-back Hopcroft got things underway with a well taken score five minutes in, after a nice pass back inside from King.
Ten minutes later Priscott broke a tackle and went in from 30 metres.
Reilly’s conversion moved the score to 36-10 and it was his deft kick through that allowed King to complete his hat-trick.
Girdlestone scored Tabard’s last try after good work by Nick Westaway with Reilly converting.
At this point there was still 10 minutes to go and it is to their full credit that Stockwood Park picked up a losing bonus point, adding three tries.
They look destined for the drop and on this showing the division will be worse off without them.
For Tabard, however, the win gives them a nine-point buffer from Welwyn in the final relegation place, the side who they face in their next game on January 28.