Once the little bit of sunshine had disappeared the first ‘A’ encounter saw both teams evenly matched both up front and in the backs.
Abbey began their task with real purpose and managed several line breaks with Mo Tahir looking dangerous only to touch the chalk line whilst in full flight. Neat footwork and an equally deft offload from winger Tom Andrews sent Mo Tahir away again; the centre making a good twenty metres before again, drifting a foot into touch.
Abingdon then threatened the Abbey line. Abbey soaked up some intense Abingdon pressure and stout defending kept the hosts at a safe distance. The pressure was eventually relieved by a defensive kick from Charlie Wilkinson followed up by Tom Willis, a little too early, earning Abingdon an attacking penalty. Again and again a well drilled Abbey defence kept the home team at bay. The front five worked hard in a fierce encounter at the breakdown, particularly Matt Simmons and Tom Willis both contributed with high tackle counts.
When Abbey attacked, mainly from set piece play, they could have made Abingdon pay more dearly for missed tackles. Joey Newman wove his way through the first defensive line before setting up quick second phase ball. The visitor’s endeavour nearly paid off when the second phase ball was whipped wide through quick hands before the final decisive pass went to ground as the try line beckoned.
This was the last action of the first match with the final score Abingdon 0 – 0 Reading Abbey.
After a break the second game saw the contest continue from where the first left off with both teams seemingly negating each other. Abbey managed to control the early ebb and flow of the game, despite two worrying line-out steals by Abingdon. Abbey did not help themselves by continuing to lose some of their line ball to a lofty Abingdon line out.
Again, this game was played through one period and towards the end Abingdon were having much the better in terms of territory and possession. Despite their territorial dominance, they failed to pull clear and were continually thwarted by the Abbey defence.
The final score, again, being Abingdon 0 – 0 Reading Abbey.
The A games were interspersed by Abbey taking on a Reading side (supplemented by Abbey players). In the first, an early try by Ben
Shimeld gave Abbey the lead. A second try by Tom Willis, after Jonny Northover was held up before the line, secured a two tries to nil win. The second game saw two tries from Mo Tahir and one each from George Marshall and Matt Simmons end in a four tries to nil win. Thomas Netley gets a mention for good tackling.
Thanks to those parents that made the trip and also to those Abbey players that turned out for Reading to make a mornings rugby.
Abbey remain unbeaten…..