Tabard promotion hopes dented

PUBLISHED: 11:56 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 06 May 2010

London Three North West Hampstead 35 Tabard 8 WITH a much changed team Tabard started this game slowly and never really managed to find their way back into contention. The conditions were ideal for the supporters although maybe just a little hot for the

London Three North West

Hampstead 35 Tabard 8

WITH a much changed team Tabard started this game slowly and never really managed to find their way back into contention. The conditions were ideal for the supporters although maybe just a little hot for the players.

The early encounters were inconclusive but it was Hampstead who opened the scoring after just seven minutes with a well struck penalty.

Tabard responded immediately and barely two minutes later they were awarded a penalty which Dan Ashcroft converted to level the scores.

The pressure from this point came from Hampstead and their next score was a try in the corner. The Hampstead fly half converted this with a fine kick to give them a seven point lead.

A further two penalties for Hampstead extended their lead to thirteen points after thirty minutes.

Tabard seemed to finally hit their stride at this point and had an extended period of pressure in the Hampstead half and a score seemed inevitable when they were camped in the opposition 22. After a series of forward drives Tabard finally forced their way over the Hampstead line but the ball was lost at the last moment and a relieved home side were able to clear their lines.

The second half started with Tabard far more involved and a good run by Neil Hopcroft supported by Matt Roberts was stopped just short of the Hampstead line.

Unfortunately Tabard were deemed to have infringed at the ensuing ruck and Hampstead were again able to clear their lines.

The next 20 minutes were all Hampstead and they ran in three tries to put the game out of Tabard's reach.

Tabard still had some fight in them and several fine runs by Hopcroft showed that the Hampstead defence were vulnerable.

It was just before the end when Roberts took a quick penalty from just in the Hampstead half. He breached the first line of defence before being tackled and was able to feed Scott Stoba as he sprinted through. Stoba avoided the despairing tackle of the fullback and outpaced the covering defence to score Tabard's only try.

Next week Tabard are away at London New Zealand, kick off 3.00pm.

Tabard: Hopcroft, Lewis (Dennison 70), Cooper (Calnan 70), Ashcroft, Austerberry, Arasa, Roberts, Collette, Ray, Gough, O'Connor, Montague, Hall, Settle, Stoba.

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