Tadley U16 29 : Abingdon U16 28
Tadley play best game of season to narrowly beat Abingdon
The headline says it all really. A phenomenal effort from all the players right from the kick off saw each team in possession of the ball making good ground, only to have the ball turned over and be put on the back foot. Tadley's forwards started well with rucking and competition at the break down with Liam Brown, Nick Cross and Dan Stone in impressive form from the kick off. After 10 mins Tadley started to find some form with the ball going along the backs line and a few minutes later after good handling from the backs the ball landed in the hands of Jayden Tombs. With a little bit of space on the wing he managed to beat his man and race 40 yards to score in at the corner. A good conversion attempt from Calum Collington had the distance but missed just wide of the post.
A few minutes later Tadley doubled their lead with a 2nd try from a similar position. Good handling from Cameron MacDonald and Matt Barclay-Clark put Calum Collington in possession. With Calum drawing the opposition player and James Morley out wide and in space Calum decided tried to break through the defence himself being tackled just short of the line. Fortunately for him the tackle was high resulting in a penalty for Tadley and a 2nd chance for Collington from the tap and go. This time he managed to break the line and score out wide. Although the conversion was missed Tadley now had a 10-0 lead. However with Jayden off injured after his first try Tadley were now down to 14 for the remainder of the half.
Abingdon now began to find their game and apply pressure and it wasn't long before one of their backs scored under the posts after several phases of good play. With both teams in their rhythm now the Tadley forwards began to boss the breakdown with Nick Cross, Liam Brown, Jamies Saynor, John Warwick and Harry Turner all in impressive form. From one of these moves Dan Hill popped the ball to Cameron Macdonald about 20 yards from the try line and his speed and movement allowed him to score under the posts. He duly converted the try. Abingdon fought back soon after with their forwards and backs combining to get the ball out wide. Their winger managed to sidestep the Tadley wing and score wide of the posts, but close enough to be converted. Half time score Tadley 17 - Abingdon 10.
With Jayden finally retiring from the game Harrison came on to set Tadley back to full strength. Both teams began the 2nd half in confident mood and with after a few exchanges it was Tadley who scored first. With the forwards winning a scrum Joe Porter (back after a long injury spell) broke free and managed to sprint the length of the field, just managing to fend off the last Abingdon player 5 yards out and score an impressive try out wide and not close enough for Cameron to convert. Tadley 22 - Abindgon 14.
Abingdon then began their fightback. With a change in tactics their pack managed to start winning consistent ball and despite some great tackling from the Tadley backs - Matt Barclay-Clark and Josh Pennington, Abingdon managed to get an interception from a Tadley play with their winger running the length of the pitch to score under the posts. With the try converted there was now only a point in it. Next followed some intense pressure from Abingdon as they went for the win. With 10 mins to go their forwards attacked the Tadley line and despite some great scramble defence from Bish Bagga and Jamie Saynor looked to have scored. The referee however judged the ball to have been held up on the line and the teams were pulled back for a 5 yard scrum. A few minutes later Abingdon got the breakthrough and after several phases of pressure got the ball out to their backs who crashed through the Tadley defence to score under the posts. The conversion followed giving Abingdon a 6 point lead. Tadley 22 - Abingdon 28.
Tadley didn't panic however. With both subs now on and some sustained pressure Tadley were awarded a scrum just beyond the half way line. Dan Hill cleared out from the scrum and some quick handling from Cameron MacDonald to Calum Collington, saw Calum at full throttle, side stepping several Abingdon players to go over the line out wide and then manage to run it in under the posts. Cameron MacDonald cooly converted from under the posts to give Tadley the lead and the win 29 points to 28.
A great game to watch and without doubt Tadley's best game of the season.
Tadley Team : Nick Cross, Dan Stone, Liam Brown, Jamie Saynor, Bish Bagga, John Warwick, Joe Porter, Harry Turner (Capt.), Dan Hill, Cameron MacDonald, James Morley, Calum Collington, Matt Barclay-Clark, Jayden Tombs and Josh Pennington. Subs - Harrison, Ben.
Man of the Match - Joe Porter (Forwards), Cameron MacDonald (Backs)