Tabard heading on up as St Albans are defeated
London Three North West Tabard 17 St Albans 6 Tabard earned the local bragging rights, beating St Albans 17-6 in the cold on Saturday. St Albans were hampered by injuries and unavailability and were forced into making five changes from the side that play
London Three North West
Tabard 17 St Albans 6
Tabard earned the local bragging rights, beating St Albans 17-6 in the cold on Saturday.
St Albans were hampered by injuries and unavailability and were forced into making five changes from the side that played Mersea Island last weekend.
Tabard played well and were able to dominate the set pieces. With their good retentive rucking, they did more than enough to win the game but did not convert their dominance into the necessary points. However, St Albans were not without their attacks but the Tabard defence denied them with some good tackles in the centre from Joe Cunningham and Mike Thomas and yet another superb tackling exhibition from flanker Ben Matheson.
Tabard were on top from the start and St Albans did not seem to have an answer to their pressure but the points did not come. Tabard did cross the line but the try wasn't awarded because the referee decided that the ball had been held up. It was not until 10 minutes into the half that Tabard opened the scoring with a long-range penalty from stand off Jack Reilly, after St Albans were penalised for tackling within 10 metres of a quickly taken penalty. 10 minutes later St Albans were penalised for being off-side and Reilly sent another kick through the posts, adding a third moments later.
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This last penalty seemed to galvanise St Albans and they showed their attacking flair with some good quick passing and good ball distribution but they couldn't breach the Tabard defence. St Albans got on the scoreboard through a well-taken drop goal from Charlie Howard. This was quickly followed in the dying minutes of the first half by a penalty that was converted by St Albans full back Mark Kentish.
The game was more even in the second half but St Albans failed to break through the Tabard defence. Reilly added another penalty as the game moved into the final quarter to extend Tabard's lead to six points. This seemed to spark Tabard into life and they grabbed the only try of the game almost immediately. A kick ahead under pressure from wing Phil Cooper caught St Albans on the back foot and second row Josh Sio was able to carry the ball forward. Tabard recycled the ball to scrum half Andy Murphy who raced past the St Albans defence to score in the corner.
Tabard failed to convert the kick but their resolute defence kept St Albans out and they held onto a hard-fought victory.
This week Tabard are away to Grasshoppers in the next league fixture.
Tabard: Ashcroft, Cooper, Cunningham, Thomas, Brady, Reilly, Murphy, Colette, Baker, Gough, Montague, Sio, O'Connor, Matheson, Stoba.