Tabard just miss out on big win despite Reilly’s metronomic boot

Tabard's Dan Calnan jumps in the line-out against Belsize Park

Tabard's Dan Calnan jumps in the line-out against Belsize Park - Credit: Archant

A late penalty denied Tabard at least a draw in an hard-fought trip to Belsize Park.

Played in the grandiose surroundings of Regents Park, Jack Reilly had kicked six penalties of his own to bring the Radlett-based rugby club level at 18-18.

However, with time almost up, they were caught offside 25 metres out and Belsize snapped up the gift to take the victory.

It was Tabard’s best performance of the season so far and came close to securing a win against the so-far unbeaten Belsize Park.

It was only small margins that cost them the game but they did at least secure a losing bonus point.

The pack were by far the stronger in the scrum and competed well against their taller opponents at the line-out.

And the visitors enjoyed more than their fair share of possession and territory and will now look to build on this performance when they welcome London Nigerian to Cobden Hill on November 19.

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Reilly put Tabard in front on 10 minutes after Park were penalised for being off their feet at the ruck.

But the hosts responded and went in fornt with a converted try seven minutes later.

Back came Tabard and Reilly’s boot added another three and they had a great chance to cross the whitewash when Belsize were reduced to 14 for 10 minutes.

Unfortunately it was a penalty from Belsize that came next although Reilly cancelled that out with his third successful kick.

He also hit the post before Park scored just before half-time to lead 13-9.

The second half got off to just the start Tabard did not want when the hosts created an overlap and scored in the corner.

Reilly made no mistake when Park were penalised for not rolling away and he was unlucky to see two long-range attempts just off target.

But you can’t keep a good kicker down and a further two strikes at goal were successful sending the sides into the last 10 minutes level.

Reilly had one more chance from 45 metres to steal the win but that, unlike the later Belsize effort, sailed the wrong side of the posts.