Tabard hold off comeback to win opening game

A FINE all-round performance by Tabard gave them their first win of the new season against Old Haberdashers on Saturday.

It was, however, a close run game with Haberdashers fighting back towards the end of the game and finishing the stronger side but the Radlett-based side held on to confirm their first victory after earning promotion from London 2 North West last year.

Both sides started tentatively but it was Tabard who slipped into playing mode the quickest and they put their first points on the board with a penalty, kicked by stand off Jack Reilly, after just nine minutes.

Tabard continued to be on top and after a period of pressure on the Haberdashers line, second row Jo Jacobs forced himself over for Tabard’s first try, which Reilly converted.

Although Haberdashers fought back with a penalty from stand off Walker, Tabard continued to be in the ascendancy and were rewarded with another try. This time, from quickly re-cycled ball, centre Gerry Arasa made a searing break through the defence and passed to wing Dan Ashcroft for the try, which Reilly duly converted.

Then Haberdashers began to find some form and, in the 11th minute of first-half injury time, they eventually crossed the line for a converted try.

Right from the restart, Tabard were too relaxed and Haberdashers were able to break up field with ease and only a last ditch tackle by scrum half Harry Gough, saved the day. However, this served to wake up Haberdashers and they at last began to move the ball and put pressure on the Tabard defence.

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This pressure eventually paid off with Haberdashers going over in the corner, to bring them to within two points of Tabard.

Fortunately Tabard put their game together again and from a scrum in the opponents 22, the ball was passed quickly out and Arasa jinked through the covering defence for the score, which Reilly converted.

The game then settled into one with both sides fighting hard but it was Haberdashers who scored next. With just 10 minutes to go, a break down the flank brought a good try and the teams were separated again by just two points.

This brought another resurgence by Haberdashers, who soundly tested the Tabard defence but it held and the final whistle went with Tabard the victors.

Next Week Tabard are away to Ruislip, kick-off 3pm.