11:12am Tuesday 24th January 2012
Tabard earned a 19-5 win at Datchworth in the quarter-finals of the Herts President Tankard.
The visitors always had the upper hand in the knockout competition for clubs in leagues between level five and seven.
From the first scrum, it was evident that the Tabard front five were better and they also played well in the lineout, 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 started by stand-off Gerry Arasa, who set up Neil Hopcroft. The full-back then powered through the despairing Datchworth tackles to touch down near the posts and scrum-half Harry Gough added the conversion.
Five minutes later second row Andy Hall went 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 completely unimpeded. With Tabard continually applying pressure it was only a matter of time before another score came.
Just before the turnaround, Datchworth fumbled fielding a kick near their 22m line and Tabard’s centre, Mike Thomas, in hot pursuit, kicked ahead. Winger Dan Ashcroft chased up and claimed the touchdown which Gough converted to give Tabard a 19 point lead at the break.
In the second half, 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. But the visitors’ superiority up front told and their strong defence ensured they kept Datchworth at bay.
Tabard face a tough league trip to Imperial Medicals this weekend.
In other action, Tabard Seconds lost 37-0 to Welwyn.
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