Tabard into Tankard quarter-finals

Tabard see off Datchworth to progress

Herts Presidents Tankard

Datchworth 5 Tabard 19

ANOTHER fine performance by Tabard’s tight five set up another win on Saturday, this time against Datchworth, in the Herts Presidents Tankard quarter final.

The Tankard competition is the county knock out for clubs in the leagues at levels five to seven.

From the first scrum it was evident that the Tabard front five were the better and they also played well in the line out, giving Tabard plenty of possession, especially in the first half, which they managed to convert to points. Having said that Datchworth defended well and fought hard in the loose to keep the game ebbing and flowing throughout.

Tabard got their first score, after considerable pressure, just over midway through the half. The move was set in motion by stand off Gerry Arasa, who passed out and looped round to continue the move, before passing to full-back Neil Hopcroft. Hopcroft then powered through the despairing Datchworth tackles to touch down near the posts and scrum half Harry Gough added the conversion.

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Five minutes later second row Andy Hall was over. This time a long driving maul took Tabard within a metre of the try line and Hall broke round the blind side to surge over the line completely unimpeded. With Tabard continually applying pressure it was only a matter of time before another score came. This time, just before the turnaround, Datchworth fumbled fielding a kick near their 22 metre line and Tabard’s centre, Mike Thomas, in hot pursuit, kicked ahead. Wing Dan Ashcroft chased up and claimed the touchdown which Gough converted to give Tabard a 19 points to nil lead at half time.

In the second half it looked as though the mixture would be the same but seven minutes into it the Datchworth centre, Brunton, intercepted a long Tabard pass and ran in to score an opportunist try. This sparked life into Datchworth and, aided by the slope, they were able to string several attacks together and put pressure on Tabard. Tabard were saved however by their up front superiority and some stalwart work in defence and thus ended the victors by 19 points to 5.

Tabard: Hopcroft, Jenkins (Davis 65), Lewis, Thomas, Ashcroft, Arasa, Gough, Lake, Hart, Lake, Hall, O’Connor, Kenney, O’Neil (Westaway 73), Stoba.

Next week Tabard have a tough league fixture away to Imperial Medicals, kick off 2:15pm.

Other Result: Welwyn 37 Tabard 2nd XV 0.