With the wind and the Hill in the first half, Reading had an advantage but a strong rear guard action from the Abbey boys kept them frustrated, and their composure and discipline slipped. With scott mansfield
at prop the scrum was solid and Reading bemoaned their inability to drive forward. Thinking that Mansfield was playing unfairly Reading decided to punch their way out of trouble. Abbey Scrum however held firm and Liam
Rolland and Adam Whyle
were equally powerful in the front row. Whyle and Paul Burley
also received some rough treatment from Reading players. Reading seemed to prefer headlocks to unlocking the Abbey defence.
Strong tackling from Ed and George House
was added to by the guile and pace of their brother Callum at Full Back and Callum Wylie
on the wing who between them caught every kick and ran it back with interest.
Andy Verran was his consummate best in the line out and the referee complimented him on his defensive tackling.
While it would seem Reading had the upper hand Abbey had some good ball and Justin Hewgil Kevin Clift
and Aaron Readings
made some good runs.
The Vikings did score in the end and also added a penalty form halfway but at only 8 -0 down at Half time Abbey felt they were still in the game.
Unfortunately a lapse in concentration allowed Reading to score again from the first second half play.
This however was the only time they threatened for the next 20 minutes. Abbey had the better of the game and a strong run from ashley pomeroy
lead to further altercation as he smashed aside the Reading Prop.
Abbey now on top camped on the Reading line and it seemed inevitable they would score Verran tried to crash over followed by Clift. Verran then recycled it and Wylie now playing at scrum half released the backs. Ed House
was unlucky not to break through. Reading regrouped and regained possession and frantically tried to clear their lines. But the quick thinking Chris
Shaw who had added energy and pace to the back line charged the kick down. He then had a simple task of touching the ball down as it bounced over the try line.
Club Chairman Gordon Wylie
came on to play with his son and they made an impressive 8 9 combination particular as Wylie senior took a crash ball expertly weight from his son to come close to a memorable try.
Abbey kept on the pressure and a slick move saw Rolland released on the wing he showed a remarkable turn of pace and seemed destine to score, but the confidence of the crowd was not held by Rolland and he gave a good pass inside to Ed House
who unfortunately was clipped by the chasing defender and the chance had gone.
Reading must have seen this as a reprieve as they put some pressure on in the last fifteen minutes. Abbey again defended well Eldridge put in some strong hits, callum house
closed down and tackled any threat at full back and when he needed support Clift came from nowhere to put in a superb tackle.
Verran again stole the ball and found himself in space Abbey attacked trying to get the next important try, the ball was lost and Reading built again from deeper and found some space and an extra player to breach the Abbey defence for the third and final tine.
Despite the loss it was a strong and spirited performance against a team three league above them, and Reading knew they had been in a game.