Tabard squander half-time lead

Second half fightback hands Old Colfeians the points

London League 2 North

Tabard 19 Old Colfeians 21

LEADING 14 points to nil at half time Tabard looked on course for a much needed win but the second half jinx struck once again and the hosts found themselves gradually hauled back and overtaken slipping to a 21-19 defeat.

Tabard were expecting a hard game from the south London side but, after the initial confrontations, Tabard found that they were doing more than enough in the line outs and scrums to guarantee them good possession. This enabled Tabard to exert almost continuous pressure on their opponents and, although Colfeians defended solidly, it looked only a matter of time before the first score came, which it did after 26 minutes.

The Tabard forwards re-cycled the ball in mid-field, centre Tryfan Edwards made a penetrating run through the defence, the ball was quickly passed out and flanker, Scot Stoba, was on hand to touch down for the try, which stand off Chris Van der Vlugt converted.

Although the Tabard dominance continued and both Edwards and wing Matty Roberts had good breaks, it was not until virtually half time that Tabard scored again.

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This time, from a line out, the ball was passed quickly across field and, although the ball was not passed cleanly, wing Neil Hopcroft gathered, shrugged off the defender and accelerated away for a great try which Van der Vlugt converted to bring up the half time score of 14 points to nil to Tabard.

Colfeians changed their side around at half time and they found they were able to pressurise Tabard more effectively and from some early pressure they got their first score after scrum half Needham drove through the defensive wall. Full-back Gava converted.

Tabard immediately went on the offensive themselves and scored three minutes later. From a scrum in their own half number 8, Darren Kidd, picked up at the base before feeding scrum half Harry Gough, who in turn gave the ball to fullback Joe Cunningham, he made the hard yards before feeding Hopcroft for his second try, to put Tabard 19 points to seven ahead.

Colfeians then gradually put the pressure on Tabard with another try from a line out drive scored by second row Howard. However the Tabard defence was able to resist any further breakthroughs but unfortunately Gava was able to keep the score board moving with three penalty goals, the last coming six minutes from time and, although Tabard rose to the occasion and again attacked Colfeians hard the score did not come and they had to settle for the really disappointing outcome of losing by 21 points to 19.

Next week Tabard are away to Eton Manor where they have to hope their luck will change

Team: Cunningham, Hopcroft, Thomas, Edwards, Roberts (Murphy 70m), Van der Vlugt, Gough, Lake B, O’Neil, Lake W, O’Connor, Miller (Ruston 65m), Hall, Stoba and Kidd.

Other score: Bishop’s Stortford 11 Tabard II 15.