Tabard run league leaders close

PUBLISHED: 11:59 19 December 2011

Jack Reilly

Jack Reilly

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Last gasp kick goes awry for Tabard

London League 2 North West

Tabard 16 Old Haberdashers 17

TABARD played the league leaders, Old Haberdashers on Saturday and, despite a lot of pressure were unable to clinch a victory, losing by the narrowest margin possible ¬- just one point.

Both sides showed their intent from the kick-off and the opening exchanges were about even but Haberdashers opened the scoring after just nine minutes when they took advantage of the merest of gaps in the Tabard defence and their centre Miller scored under the posts to give full-back Butterwick an easy conversion.

The game then settled down to an excellent affair with the Tabard tight five, especially the front row of the Lake brothers and Matt Hart, edging the set pieces but solid defence, if a little offside at times by Haberdashers, meant that the Tabard three-quarters failed to break through. Then, midway through the half, from a winning scrum Tabard scored when wing Rhys Lewis, who had an excellent game throughout, powered through the Haberdashers’ defence to dot down.

The game then settled into an evenly contested affair, although a Haberdashers penalty from Butterwick stretched their lead before stand-off Jack Reilly did likewise for Tabard to bring the score to 10- 8 to Haberdashers at the break.

After the turnaround, Haberdashers had the edge and again stretched their lead when second row Gray went over after they had attacked through several phases. Butterwick converted.

Tabard now gradually fought their way back into the game and towards the end they had the territorial advantage which they just needed to convert into points. This was helped when, just into the final quarter, Reilly kicked another penalty for Tabard which meant that a converted try would seal the game for Tabard.

Thus Tabard went into the final 10 minutes with all to play for but their attacks were thwarted each time and Haberdashers were able to break out of defence.

Eventually Tabard put a penalty into the corner and this time the line out drive was able to force Haberdashers back over their try line and Bill Lake claimed the score. Reilly then had a difficult kick to give Tabard the game but, as the Tabard supporters held their breath, the kick slid past the upright.

Tabard’s next game is January 7 away to Fullerians, kick off 2.15 pm.

Tabard: Hopcroft, Jenkins, Arasa, Edwards, Lewis, Reilly, Sleath, B Lake, Hart, W Lake, Calnan, Hall, Ruston, Kenny (Westaway 52), O’Connor.

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