Tabard edge to Old Boys win

Tabard earned an 18-15 win over UCS Old Boys in London League Two North West on Saturday.

Winger Dan Ashcroft scored two crucial tries which steered them to a narrow victory over their opponents.

Tabard had had a good win over UCS in the reverse fixture earlier in the year but this was a different UCS team who had been coached to stop the Tabard runners who had created havoc previously.

This was evident from the start when Tabard had plenty of possession but could not penetrate the defence. With ten minutes on the clock, Ashcroft showed how it was done.

Taking the pass on the wing some 20m out, he set off on a determined run for the corner. A powerful hand off kept his opposite number at bay and resulted in a dive through the remaining defensive cover for the try.

This gave Tabard a bit of momentum and, virtually from the kick off, they scored again. Tabard had put a deep kick into UCS territory, UCS replied in kind but it was fielded by full-back Neil Hopcroft who attacked from deep and passed to winger Steve Jenkins just over the half way line. Jenkins kept the move going down the wing and his jinking run took him over in the corner.

Then it was the turn of UCS. Again, virtually from the kick off, the UCS stand off, Bradshaw, was given space and he kicked over the Tabard defence for hooker, Henk, lurking near the touchline, to score in the corner.

Although Tabard were still on top, thanks to another fine performance from the tight five, UCS had the bit between their teeth and a good break down the wing, followed by a kick and chase, by winger Mbamali resulted in another try in the corner.

Tabard replied with a penalty from scrum-half Harry Gough before Ashcroft scored his second try. He started the move, passing inside and then a good break by centre Gerry Arasa made the initial ground before passing back to Ashcroft on his opposite wing. A determined run took him over for the try in the corner to bring up the half-time score of 18-10 in Tabard’s favour.

The second period was almost a reverse of the first with UCS putting the pressure on Tabard. Midway through the half a charged down clearance kick gave UCS a crucial score, touched down by Bradshaw and this set up a frantic final 20 minutes in which both sides had their chances. But even after a determined attack from UCS the Tabard defence held out and they claimed the points.

Tabard’s next game is a trip to Datchworth in the Herts Cup. In other action, the Seconds suffered a comprehensive 60-5 defeat to Finchley.

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