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