Tabs miss out

PUBLISHED: 10:15 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

London Three North West UCS Old Boys 14 Tabard 11 AFTER a stuttering start, Tabard played some cohesive and controlled rugby against UCS Old Boys on Saturday, only to see a well-deserved victory snatched from them in the dying minutes. In the opening 10

London Three North West

UCS Old Boys 14 Tabard 11

AFTER a stuttering start, Tabard played some cohesive and controlled rugby against UCS Old Boys on Saturday, only to see a well-deserved victory snatched from them in the dying minutes.

In the opening 10 minutes Tabard found themselves constantly on the defensive against a hard-running side and they looked as though they had a difficult game on their hands. UCS proved worthy opponents and they were well marshalled by their ex-Otago scrum half Casey Mee. With so much pressure on Tabard it seemed a score must come against them and in the ninth minute the UCS centre Thomson was over for a try which Mee failed to convert.

This setback was enough to get Tabard into the rugby mindset and they gradually took control of the game with some great tackling, good forward play in all departments and the characteristic upfield breaks from centre Mike Thomas and second row Josh Sio in particular. Unfortunately, Tabard's resurgence coincided with the weather gradually deteriorating making running and handling all the more difficult. However Tabard eventually converted their possession into points with a penalty from stand off Jack Reilly and then Reilly crossed the line after a good break from Thomas in the centre but the referee decided the ball had not been grounded correctly. Despite this, Reilly quickly dropped a goal to give Tabard the lead approaching half time but then, in the fortieth minute, Mee converted a penalty for UCS to give them a two-point lead at the break.

In the second half, Tabard started much the stronger side and a period of possession led to the try of the match by Tabard centre Joe Cunningham. He received the ball about 35 metres out and in a brilliant swerving run, scythed through the defence for a well-deserved try. Tabard then played well in the deteriorating conditions but, despite some defence-testing runs, especially from scrum half Andy Murphy, well supported by number eight, Scott Stoba, the points did not come.

In the 75th minute, Tabard were, perhaps unjustly, penalised for crossing. From the ensuing kick and line out, Tabard again found themselves penalised and Mee converted the penalty to level the scores. With just one minute left, Tabard were again penalised for an infringement on the ground and Mee kicked the penalty to leave Tabard disappointed losers by 14-11.

This week Tabard take on Twickenham at their Cobden Hill, Radlett, ground. Kick off is 2.15pm.

Tabard: Roberts, Fleuren (Cooper 68m), Thomas, Cunningham, Ashcroft, Reilly, Murphy, Collette, Baker, Gough, Sio, Gill, O'Connor, Matheson, Stoba.

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