Tabard 7 Hemel 22
Tabard were again somewhat depleted through injury and unavailability but despite that the team put up a commendable effort against a much heavier and well organised Hemel side. In fact Tabard more than matched the visitors in the second half and were unfortunate not to score more than just one try at the death. Hemel found themselves 14 points up after 17 minutes and looked as though they were going to run away with the game. However, spirited defending by Tabard, commitment and adapting their play made this in to an enjoyable contest and one that the home side can take credit from.
An early missed kick to touch allowed Hemel to build their attack, eventually finding a gap down the left hand touch line for the first score after 5 minutes. Their second try came after Hemel ominously destroyed the Tabard scrum 5 m out and went in at the corner. The conversion from the touchline added the extra 2 points. The Tabard pack were up against a much bigger eight but as the game went on, they won more than their share of line out ball and held up well in the scrum after the early scare.
Tabard responded to the two early tries with a good break by Joe Calnan who was stopped illegally with a high tackle. The ensuing penalty was kicked to touch but a knock meant Tabard were unable to capitalise on their first meaningful foray into Hemel territory.
Tabard were then harshly dealt with by the referee after the Hemel No 7 swung a wild punch that thankfully didn’t connect. The referee decided to send both him and Tabard peace keeper, Dan Calnan, off for 10 minutes and reversed the penalty he had previously awarded against Hemel.
Hemel collected three further points after Tabard were adjudged offside and the sides turned round with Tabard trailing 0 -17.
Hemel got the second half off to a good start driving purposely in to Tabard’s 22. Will James secured a penalty for Tabard though with some excellent work at the break down. Tabard then went through phases of possession but could not quite break through the Hemel defence. A loose kick from defence presented the ball to the Hemel winger who was able to break through and score after half an hour, although the conversion attempt was missed.
The game ended with Hemel pinned in their own 22 as Tabard looked get something out of the game. A clever interception by Harry Smith did just that and allowed him to score under the posts. George Gough added the conversion on the stroke of full time which brought the final score to Tabard 7 Hemel Hempstead 22.
Team: Westaway, Van Loen, Tilley, Marcus Bunning, James, Morgan Bunning, D Calnan, Priscott, G Gough, Stevens, Esmaeili, Joe Calnan, Davies, Smith, Sandison