Tadley Bandits 36 v Abbey IV 14
A fired up Bandits dominated the set piece to control the game against a lively Abbey who Took their limited chances with a aplomb.
It was an emotional day at Red lane and the Bandits were determined to do their bit to honour club founder Frank Jose who sadly passed away during the week. Skipper Bosh put the word out and it was a great response from the players who hardly needed a team talk to get them fired up. it was really good to see a couple of players reappearing for this special occasion, Andy Williams & Duncan Green digging out their boots for a run out.
The Bandits had assembled a large squad, not so much in numbers but in size this must have been close to being the heaviest team ever assembled by Tadley, having Jo & Dan in the forwards is always going to give you a large pack but Williams & Green added some serious timber in the backs and when you have your looseheads doing half a game at prop & half on the wing you are always going to have a chunky backline, Oli Ringrow & Pieface never Shirked their duty on the wing and were outstanding on prop duty. Next week it's only fair that the tightheads take their turn so Murph & Robin will be sharing prop and wing.
The Bandits soon put their size to good use dominating the set piece in the early stages, turning over scrums and Bosh was imperious in the lineout. The skipper went close to scoring before knocking the ball on, Tadley turned over the resulting scrum and big Dan wasn't going to be stopped from 5m out, he converted his try for a 7-0 lead.
The Bandit pressure continued and a line out in the Abbey 22 was well driven and with Nicey & Sealy adding their weight the pack rumbled over with hooker Johnny O getting the try. The visitors were living off scraps but always looked dangerous when running the ball , early on they kicked down field a lot and full back Matt F countered really well, eventually one of the kicks came off when Matt was finally caught and after some concerted pressure their big 12 scored and the conversion saw the score 12-7.
The Bandits hit back with probably the try of the game, with most of the team involved in some slick passing which saw Jordon Slater break the line and go close before off loading to the rampaging Bosh who selflessly passed to centre Dud Green for the run in. The halves scoring was fittingly finished off by Bandit 10 Simon Denning who was Masterfully pulling the strings and showing his full box of tricks with a great show and go before scampering over.
The 2nd half didn't live up to the giddy heights of the 1st, injuries took a toll on both sides The Bandits were badly hit by the loss of Denning early on and struggled for continuity plus Abbey began to get some 1st phase ball, the visitors had the best of the 3rd quarter all their endeavour was rewarded with a try.
Abbey had dragged themselves back into the game but the Bandits closed out the match with 2 further tries, Andy Williams with a trademark break in midfield to power over. No. 9 Sealy and big Dan linked up for some strong running before feeding Green who ran in from slightly further than his 1st try, Green converted both to see the Bandits wrap up a big win.
Bandit of the match - Duncan Green
Bandits - Matt F, Pieface, Jordon, Druncan, Nicey, Simon, Sealy, Oli, Jonny, Murph,Bosh (c), Jo, Kris, Matt D, Big Dan
Subs all used- Robin, Greg, Mike J, Andy W