Tabard hang on to claim come-from-behind win over Welwyn

Leon Leonidas starts another Tabard attack against Welwyn. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Leon Leonidas starts another Tabard attack against Welwyn. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Tabard came from behind to secure a 15-14 home win against a lively Welwyn side – although they were grateful that a last-minute penalty for the visitors sailed wide.

The Radlett-based rugby club trailed 14-0 in the early stages of the second half but two tries from Tom King and a penalty from Jack Reilly gave them a third win of the London North West Two season.

The first half was full of endeavour but neither side were able to establish a platform from which to build an attack.

Reilly had the first chance to put points on the board but a long-range kick went wide and he was also unssuccessful with his second attempt.

Ironically it was Tabard’s best attack of the half that gave Welwyn the opening try.

Good passing, started by Liam Glynn, took play from Tabard’s 22 to the Welwyn five-metre line but after being held-up, Welwyn turned the ball over and a kick through was collected by Paul Castro who scored under the posts.

The successful conversion by Liam Schofield saw Tabard turn round at half-time 7–0 down and it was only minutes in to the second half before Welwyn doubled their advantage.

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A comfortable line-out catch set up good ball for Ben Hunter, who split the Tabard defence for a well-worked try.

But Tabard showed great spirit to claw their way back in to a game which looked to be slipping away from them.

Leon Leonardis set the tone for the recovery by showing great ability to break through the Welwyn defence and although his attack resulted in a knock on but it wasn’t long before Tabard were in for their first try.

A line-out in the corner wasn’t secured but Welwyn’s clearance missed touch, eventually allowing King to score in the corner on the hour.

Reilly missed the conversion from the touchline but five minutes later it he was more successful.

That came after another Welwyn kick missed touch was collected by Dan Calnan.

He found Reilly, who delivered a perfect cross-field kick to King who was in for his second try.

Reilly’s conversion brought Tabard to within two and his penalty, which came after Welwyn’s influential stand-off Harry Gillespie was shown a yellow, put them ahead for the first time.

Welwyn weren’t finished and hammered the Tabard defence looking for a score which would have stole the win.

But Tabard absorbed the pressure and after Schofield missed from 30m out, they hung on to secure the four points.