Tadley blow away the cobwebs & get back into winning ways at the start of 2019.
Tadley v Drifters
Tadley came into this game after a defeat last time out in the freezing rain, to runaway league leaders Chesham and were determined to make a good start to the New Year.
The first half was very evenly balanced with each team playing some good creative rugby and both having their defences tested. But it was Tadley who struck first on 16 minutes, with a try just inside the right touchline by the hard running wing, Tom Nash. The extras added from the boot of full-back, Chris Dennison
. After an intense period of pressure from Drifters, it was they who crossed the line next after drawing the Tadley defence in, with a clever cross field kick from the fly-half, which bounced up nicely for the winger to run the ball home after 22 minutes. The conversion was missed.
From the kick off Tadley were again on the front foot with the pack working hard to retain possession and eventually the pressure paid off on 28 minutes with a penalty awarded on the 22 which Dennison duly dispatched between the posts. But Tadley weren’t finding things all their own way in this hard fought contest and it was Drifters who scored next on 33 minutes with an almost identical try to the right of the posts. Again the conversion was missed so the teams went into half time with the score at 10 - 10.
Following another rousing half time talk from the coach, Tadley started the second half being a bit more decisive in their play. Which paid off after 6 minutes following some excellent handling from the backs with gareth cripps-jones
diving over in the left corner to put the home team in the lead again, this time the conversion was missed. At the restart, Gary Rumblow
was strong under the high ball and gained possession which put Tadley on the attack once again, with the forwards determined to get the upper hand. Eventually after much patience being shown and good retention of the ball, it was Scott Raymond
who crossed the line for another try after 10 minutes, which went unconverted.
With the score line now 20 – 10, Tadley started to play more confidently and it was clear that the Drifters team were struggling to keep up the pace they’d shown in the first half. This led to another good move which Tom Nash finished off for his second of the game on 20 minutes, as he was allowed to nip in from the touchline and run inside the dead ball area to score with a dive beneath the posts, thus making the conversion easy for Dennison to score. Rumblow again took an excellent catch at the restart and the rampant forwards rolled the play forwards. Allowing the backs to show off their handling skills for the try of the game, scored by Jonny Till
who cut an excellent line to tear through the stretched Drifters defence on 23 minutes. Dennison again kicking the extras.
From the restart, this time it was matt stewart
who claimed the kick which allowed Tadley to get straight back on the attack, and following another spell of ball retention and drawing in the defence, a long pass from fly-half Scott Raymond
, put Tom Nash in for his hat trick try on 26 minutes which was again converted by Dennison to make the score 41 – 10.
There was a spirited fightback by Drifters from this point on which showed them camped in the Tadley half for most of the last ten minutes of the game, but the defence of Tadley stood strong for them to come out deserved winners of a very entertaining game to watch; with both teams and the referee playing their part. Reminding everyone what this game is all about.