Saturday, 20 August 2022

Abbey hold on for win thanks to referee

TWO tries from Jack Lambert Taylor laid the foundations for a narrow victory consolidating Abbey’s mid-table league position in sixth slot.

But the win also came with an unwitting helping hand from Gloucestershire referee Mr William Gilder.

The last play of the game was a penalty under the posts to Stow, who needed six points to win, and they spent a long time discussing the options amongst themselves and with the referee.

They then stunned the spectators by kicking at goal, taking three points to concede the game, content with a losing bonus point, and to have narrowed their scoring differential.

As the players left the pitch it quickly became known they had taken the option as the referee told them an incorrect score of 22-13. Stow protested and in the clubhouse afterwards he corrected the official score sheet.

Abbey went into the game with an extensive list of absences, resulting in seven changes and a debut for prop Will Lane and centre Aaron Ross returned to first-team action.

With captain Will Bevan side-lined for up to 12 weeks following collar bone surgery, Lambert-Taylor switched from winger to scrum half and gave Abbey a dream start after four minutes.

From an attacking scrum he took the ball, sold a dummy pass, and nipped over for his first try and converted it.

The advantage then swung back to Stow following a penalty from full back Billy Maude and a try from winger James Holmes, winning the race to touch down following a kick and chase. Maude added the extras.

Despite Stowe’s young side depriving Abbey of possession, Lambert-Taylor restored their lead with his second converted try to give a turn round score of 14-10 at the break.

Early after the restart, Stow narrowed the score with a penalty from Maude making the most of some errant kicking from Abbey.

But Abbey’s lead was quickly extended with a try from winger Remi Norville, a potent threat on the occasions the ball was in his hands.

It then became more difficult for Abbey and despite dominating the scrums and having more possession, they could not find a way through the Stow defence.

Then, a failed kick for goal from the visitors saw Stow make the most of the drop out, sweep upfield in a final flurry to win the penalty in front of the goal, and had the correct score line been given to them, the result might well have been different.

Mr Childer, though, had first done both sides a greater service, he had stood in at half an hour’s notice from Painswick rugby club, as the appointed referee cried off, the switch delaying the start for 20 minutes.

Tomorrow (Saturday) there is no game. Abbey’s last home game of this calendar year will take place on December 9 against Thatcham with a pre-match festive lunch for all who wish to join.

Abbey: Charlton, Postlethwaite, Lane, Knights, Shaw, Beckly, E House, Woodward, Lambert-Taylor, Bryson, Norville, Ross, Shackleford, Warwick, Love. Subs (all used) G House, Collier, Bradfield.

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