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First XV - Match centre

Reading Abbey
Unknown, Unknown
D Sadler, S Botting
P Dawes (2)
Sat 14 Apr 15:00 - South West Division - Southern Counties North Full time

Abbey snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Abbey's lack of a kicker ultimately cost them in a game where they dominated an ill-disciplined Wallingford side who played for 30 minutes with 14 men.

Wallingford travelled to nearby rivals Reading Abbey on a genuinely warm Spring day, looking to bounce back from the previous week's loss to Windsor.
In selection. Wallingford welcomed back Carl Tappin and Nathan Chapman into the pack, whilst in the backs, Pete McKinley came in on the wing.
The first half was mostly a tale of Wallingford indiscipline, the Abbey full back running the ball back dangerously on numerous occasions, and Abbey's inability to convert near constant pressure on the visitors.
With Abbey's forwards' tackling much improved from the reverse fixture earlier in the season, Wallingford's big runners were contained in the early exchanges, as Wallingford began to infringe nearly every other minute. Unnecessary back foot penalties were the most common, with a few breakdown offences thrown in there too, as Abbey enjoyed near total possession in the opening half hour, but their faultering line-out cost them good field position on several occasions. And on top of that, they missed two very kickable penalties that would have given them a deserved lead.
They eventually did convert a penalty to take the lead, but they promptly lost the lead, as Wallingford, with one of their few spells of possession in the Abbey half, scored in the corner from a well-taken finish from Dan Sadler after good work from McKinley. Importantly, Phil Dawes' touchline conversion went over.
With the penalty count mounting, Wallingford lost Max Suttner to the bin, followed by Conner Murphy for team offences, but Abbey failed to break the resolute Wallingford defence before half time.
Abbey started the second half the same as the first, as they moved the ball quickly, stretching the Wallingford defence, and this eventually led to a try, as they squeezed in in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed.
Against the run of play again, Wallingford then scored a long distance try, as Sam Botting, fed by another impressive run from McKinley, threw a dummy on half way before fending off the cover defence to score a superb individual try. Dawes again converted well from wide out, as Wallingford took a 6 point lead with twenty minutes to go.
A third sin-bin, this time for Chapman, saw Wallingford's brief purple patch come to an end as Abbey came back strongly. After sustained attacks, their ageing centre crashed through some tiring Wallingford defence to dot down ten yards to the right of the posts. A difference kicker, but the same result, as the ball drifted just wide.
Another penalty soon came, but this time their winger sliced the very kickable penalty wide, as the Abbey support began to get that sinking feeling.
Determined defence, with the likes of Jeffreys, Sadler and McKinley to the fore, Wallingford eventually saw out the game as Wallingford clinched a wholly undeserved victory.

This was probably the worst display of the season from Wallingford. Whether you agree or not with the referee's interpretation of the laws, you need to adapt your game accordingly and Wallingford seemed incapable of doing that.
That said, with the amount of possession Abbey enjoyed, the 30 minutes with 14 men and the 3:1 penalty ratio against them, Wallingford's defence, especially scramble defence, was excellent, which is one positive to take from the game.
Individually, Pete McKinley was the stand out player - fast and powerful in attack, strong in defence and all over Instagram after the game, whilst Jeffreys and Botting were influential in defence as usual.
And Phil's kicking was okay.

Aylesbury next week for the perennial end of season fixture, and a much improved and more intelligent display will be needed to end the season on a high.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Rugby Netball

Pete McKinley

Player of the Match

Pete McKinley

Key moments

Try Dan Sadler scores for Wallingford
Conversion Phil Dawes kicks a conversion for Wallingford
Try Try for Reading Abbey
Penalty Penalty kicked for Reading Abbey
Try Sam Botting scores for Wallingford
Conversion Phil Dawes kicks a conversion for Wallingford
Try Try for Reading Abbey


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80:00 Player of the Match
Pete McKinley is awarded player of the match for Wallingford
76:00 Missed Penalty
Penalty missed for Reading Abbey
71:00 Missed Conversion
Conversion missed for Reading Abbey
70:00 Try 13 - 14
Try for Reading Abbey
65:00 Yellow Card
Nathan Chapman is yellow carded for Wallingford
56:00 Conversion 8 - 14
Phil Dawes kicks a conversion for Wallingford
55:00 Try 8 - 12
Sam Botting scores for Wallingford
End of period 1
38:00 Penalty 8 - 7
Penalty kicked for Reading Abbey
38:00 Yellow Card
Conner Murphy is yellow carded for Wallingford
31:00 Missed Conversion
Conversion missed for Reading Abbey
30:00 Try 5 - 7
Try for Reading Abbey
26:00 Conversion 0 - 7
Phil Dawes kicks a conversion for Wallingford
25:00 Try 0 - 5
Dan Sadler scores for Wallingford
20:00 Yellow Card
Max Suttner is yellow carded for Wallingford
15:00 Missed Penalty
Penalty missed for Reading Abbey
5:00 Missed Penalty
Penalty missed for Reading Abbey
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Reading Abbey
  • Wallingford
  • 0
  • Max Suttner Yellow Card 20:00'
  • Dan Sadler Try 25:00'
  • Phil Dawes Conversion 26:00'
  • Try 30:00'
  • Conner Murphy Yellow Card 38:00'
  • Penalty 38:00'
  • Sam Botting Try 55:00'
  • Phil Dawes Conversion 56:00'
  • Nathan Chapman Yellow Card 65:00'
  • Try 70:00'

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Southern Counties North results

High Wycombe


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Beaconsfield 22 104
2. Windsor 22 90
3. Buckingham 22 88
4. Aylesbury 22 72
5. Thatcham 22 68
6. Wallingford 22 61
7. Reading 22 57