Reading Abbey RFC

Reading Abbey RFC

Abbey B Win On The Road at Cheshunt RFC

by Jon Cunningham

On a frosty pitch, somewhere north of the M25, Abbey B scored eight tries in a convincing victory over Cheshunt RFC.

Cheshunt kicked off and Abbey were straight on the attack down the right flank. Cheshunt extinguished the initial threat bundling Abbey into touch some five metres from the try line. Abbey stole the lineout and showing an early determination in the maul Andrew Foster was over for the opening score. Brendan Clarke was unfortunate with missing a shy at the posts.

In an ominous start for Cheshunt, Mitchell Crowther collected the restart just inside his own half and set off with ball in hand. After rampaging through the defensive forwards Mitchell outpaced the Cheshunt winger and full-back to score a fantastic solo debut try in the corner. Brendan Clarke, again, was unlucky with the conversion attempt.

Cheshunt tried a few forays into Abbey territory although dogged defence forced their pack into handling errors and knocking on.

Brendan Clark and Aimon Khalefalah were always spritely in the first half and a combination between these two players allowed Brendan to cut in from the right wing to score under the posts, this time being successful in converting his own try.

Cheshunt continued to come at the Abbey defence with enthusiasm and although Abbey time and again managed to secure possession their sometimes missed tackles would have been punished by stronger opponents. The Abbey pack continued to dominate the hosts at the set piece, Ed O’Sullivan impressing in the lineout and scrum-half Phelim Igoe combining well with Number 8 James Askin at the scrum. Abbey continued to secure clean ball to feed a backline brimming with pace. Once again Aimon Khalefalah benefiting by collecting the ball following another successful set piece and arcing around the defence to score under the posts. Brendan Clarke, having now found his kicking boots, slotted the extra two points.

Aimon Khalefalah was influential in the next Abbey try when the ball was rifled down the back line; he drew the final defender and released Johnny Northover, continuing his impressive return from injury, to race over to score in the corner.

As half time approach the forwards got back into the action with a rumbling maul being finished off by Ross Jaffary from close range. With the conversion being missed the half ended with the score Cheshunt 0 – 34 Abbey B.

The second half started well for a rejuvenated Cheshunt as they managed to secure their first points of the match with a forward’s try following some good rucking close to the Abbey line. In a bad day for the kickers they were unable to add the conversion.

Although Abbey continued to butcher some valued possession there was some brighter play in the second half. As Abbey attempted to play an expansive game to bring the strength of the wingers into play Thomas Netley collected the ball and spotting a gap in the Cheshunt defence arrowed for the line. With only the full back now to beat a neat side step saw him through and over for Abbey’s first score of the second half.

Although Cheshunt once again scored it was left to Abbey, again using the strength of the wingers to score the final try at full time with Callum Hoptroft receiving the ball ten metres out. With still a lot to do he aimed for the corner flag and grounded the ball in a melee of defenders and attacker for his debut try.

With David Chakanyuka unable to add the conversion the final score was Cheshunt 10 – 44 Abbey B.

Man of the Match award to Mitchell Crowther for his try. In the words of Cliff Morgan (1973) "What a score!"

Thanks to all who made the journey.

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