Promotion race continues to excite as Tabard battle to defiant win away at Royston

Teddy Gough scored twice for Tabard against Royston. Picture: KEVIN LINES

Teddy Gough scored twice for Tabard against Royston. Picture: KEVIN LINES - Credit: Archant

Tabard kept right on the coat-tails of the promotion pack in London Three North West with a defiant team performance in the 31-23 win at Royston.

They remain sixth but are just three points of second-placed Old Streetonians in what is proving to be an exciting battle.

The match on Royston Heath was also a battle.

Tabard got off to a great start and quickly raced into a 14-0 lead.

Jack Reilly converted his own try following a nice break by Mark Salteras on five minutes and Teddy Gough added five more after a catch at the line-out by Will James set up an irresistible drive over the line.

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It looked as though the visitors were set for cricket score but a penalty straight from the restart and an interception try, ran in from 70 metres got Royston back to within four points.

Further Tabard infringements led to a yellow card and the hosts used that to their advantage to narrow the gap to one point with a penalty.

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Tabard responded immediately and a lovely line again by Salteras allowed Reilly to throw a miss pass to full-back Ben Chandler who scored in the corner.

Moments later and Royston had struck back with arguably the try of the afternoon.

Again Tabard looked to have set up a good attack but a turnover allowed the ball to be passed out to the winger and two offloads later, as Royston coped comfortably with some desperate defending, saw the home side lead 20-19.

But there was still time before half-time for Tabard to regain their lead, and scoop a bonus point.

It came from the forwards with a scrum sent hurtling over the line, Liam Kenny dropping on the ball for their fourth try.

The second half saw plenty of endeavour but a slowdown in the scoring.

James put in a great run up field after a catch at the line-out but the ball was turned over allowing Royston to break back in to Tabard’s half and kick a penalty after 60 minutes.

Again Tabard responded almost immediately. Reilly was stopped just short but a pass over the top by James allowed Gough to cross for his second try.

Reilly added what turned out to be the last score of the day but the Radlett-based side were made to work hard to close out the game and take the win.

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