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1st XV - Match centre

Reading
Thatcham
Sat 21 Oct 15:00 - South West Division - Southern Counties North Full time

READING 21 THATCHAM 24 Southern Counties North 21 10 17

By

READING 21 THATCHAM 24 Southern Counties North 21 10 17

Superior scrummaging in the second half plus fine performances from the Number 8 and an elusive pair of half backs gave Thatcham the edge in the first-ever match between the two sides. It was no consolation for Reading that two important contributions to Thatcham’s victory had Reading connections – coach Paul Roberts, who played for Reading in the glory days and flanker Chris Dixon, whose Dad, John, was Reading captain at that time.
It was John who had arranged for a distinguished group of Reading past players, plus Nigel Sutcliffe, who reported on Reading matches from all over the country at the time, to be in attendance before the game to give a Reading salute to Mike Tewkesbury, the coach who took them up the leagues with three successive promotions and who retired as Redingensians coach this year, having done a similar job there.
An important factor during the game was the wind which blew as usual from the west towards the clubhouse corner. Reading had the wind in their favour in the first half, making a decent half time lead imperative. For a while this looked possible. They took an early lead, fly half Sam Bowers kicking an early penalty, but Thatcham began to put their game together and took a 13th minute lead with a try from Jack Moore, converted by their splendid fly half, Joe Ledley.
This lead lasted just two minutes as Reading came back from the kick off and some good driving and backing up took a determined Josh Nicol over for an unconverted try. Both sides were by now putting together some good rugby but it was Reading who scored next. The scrum was working well at this time and they stretched the lead to 13-7 as Adam Veale touched down after a scrummage drive over Thatcham’s line.
Reading needed more points and they came from prolific try scorer, winger Chris Greig who latched onto a long pass, beat his opponent and touched down. Again there was no conversion and as the game approached half time it was important that Reading should at least maintain their 11 point lead at the interval.
However, just before the half time whistle blew Thatcham scored the try which put them back in the game, Lewis Davies scoring.
The half time deficit was now just six points and although Bowers kicked another penalty the West Berkshire side took advantage of the elements to take control. Suddenly they were pushing the Reading scrum back at pace; Reading’s Number 8 Adam Veale did a heroic job rescuing the ball but the momentum was backwards. Dixon’s try brought the visitors to within four points and then, inevitably, a five metre scrum was pushed over for Jamie Evans to score, Ledley converting.
This completed the scoring with Reading in the end hanging on for a deserved bonus point.
Tries: Josh Nicol, Adam Veale, Chris Greig Penalties: Sam Bowers (2)
Ted Goodhew

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Southern Counties North results

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Windsor
High Wycombe
29
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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

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