Tabard 33 London Nigerian 36
Afternoons don’t get much better than this. The club house was full, the sun was shining, and the Tabard faithful were treated to one of the most memorable games ever to be played out at Cobden Hill. Nigerians are one of the leagues better sides and they took what looked to be an unassailable hold on the game until Tabard got their act together and ran the visitors so very close in this most entertaining fixture. Tabard were bolstered by the return of twins, Bill and Wilf Lake in the front row, but if one player stood out it was Jonny Aguila on the wing proving that’s its not the size of the dog in the fight that’s important, it’s the size of fight in the dog. Tabard had played some reasonable stuff up to half time but had leaked three relatively soft tries and as the game moved towards half time they were reduced to 14 men after a fairly harsh yellow was card was brandished by the referee. The second half couldn’t have got off to a much worse start for the home side as Nigerians picked up a knock on and split the Tabard defence to take the score to 0 – 28. Tabard then put together an amazing fight back which was initiated by Aguila. He latched on to the ball after the restart and set off down the touchline brushing aside three tacklers. The ball went inside to Will James who looked like he had been tackled early but the ref awarded the visitors a scrum. Great work by the Tabard pack forced the visitors in to conceding a penalty at the scrum from which John Tilley drove over for Tabard’s first try. James collected the restart and the ball went to Jack Reilly who crafted a perfect cross field kick to Jonny Aguila who collected the ball and again raced down the wing. The ball went back across the pitch where James was able to crash over for Tabard’s second try. Reilly’s conversion moved the score to 14 – 28. Tabard were soon on the attack again with a great break by Tom King. He was stopped illegally and Tabard chose to take a scrum. The ball went to Deniyi Olashore, who has really come on this season, he juggled with it but was able to find Jonny Aguila who broke three tackles to score Tabard’s third try narrowing the score to 19 – 28. Tabard were unable to maintain the intensity and allowed the visitors to score again after a nice cross field kick was collected and a try scored in the corner, although the conversion was missed.
The Tabard pack set up the home side’s next score. A Tabard attack was halted by a knock on but the home side’s scrum won a penalty which set up captain Reilly to cut a lovely line and score under the posts. His conversion moved the score to 26 -33 with 15 minutes to play. Tabard were not done however and a great try by Tom King after a break by Olashore drew the scores level. Tabard were unable to hang on and a wonderful penalty by the visitors from 40 metres secured them the win. All credit to Tabard’s players and back room staff who have endured a tough season and will be playing a level down when play resumes in September. On this performance however, next season should be eagerly awaited.
Team: Lake Tilley Lake S Gough, Hancock, Bunning, T Gough, Hurford, Kenny, H Gough, King, Reilly, Davis, Aguila, G Gough.
James, Milligen, Olashore