ABBEY suffered the heartbreak of defeat in the last move of their match at Royal Wootton Bassett, having looked likely and deserved winners only moments beforehand. The result, coupled with Alchester’s surprise victory over top side Bletchley, leaves Abbey in dire trouble at the wrong end of Southern Counties North.
With skipper Sam Hallett unavailable, the visitors were led from the scrum half position by Arron Ross.
An early break from his halfback partner Dan Love gave Abbey some promising momentum, but hooker Mark Toland had difficulty throwing straight line-out ball into a swirling wind, and Wootton Bassett were able to take play into the visitors’ half.
Winger Charlie Gingell, fullback Jack Brown and Ross himself all defended well, but after home centre Tucker Blinkhorn made good ground, Wootton Bassett scored the opening try of the game after 11 minutes when outside half Jonathan Clarke crossed on the left. Flanker Dave Hogg added the conversion.
Abbey shrugged off this early setback, and centre Tom Waterhouse put them back on the attack with a good touch find. However, the bulk of a rather uneventful opening quarter took place in the visitors’ half, and Waterhouse was soon called upon to use his kicking talents to relieve the pressure on the Abbey line.