DESPITE a stuttering performance, Abbey still won six tries to one, to maintain their leadership of the Berks, Bucks and
DESPITE a stuttering performance, Abbey still won six tries to one, to maintain their leadership of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier League.
With rivals Swindon College Old Boys having a rest day, Abbey’s lead over them is 10 points, and with the league being a two horse race, promotion looks set to be decided when they meet at Swindon on February 28. Swindon College OBs are the only side where Abbey haven’t taken bonus winning points.
Wheatley started the proceedings and harried Abbey’s possession so that when the ball went to ground the hosts snaffled it up and raced away from the halfway line, and although the attack was pulled down short of Abbey’s line, the support was quick to arrive allowing flanker Barney Carter to put down the try before two minutes were on the clock.
For the first time this season Abbey had conceded the first try, the kick too far out to succeed. Number 10 Seb Wilson made amends on the 20th minute with a penalty goal, which turned out to be the last of Wheatley’s scores.
Abbey hit back as Ollie Charlton showed his speed to burst through and force a penalty before Arron Ross found a gap to run through before passing on to Joe Hallet to take the first try on the 10th minute.
Winger Tom Handley attacked with purpose so Wheatley conceded the second penalty in front of their posts and on the half-hour his opposite winger Steve Warwick cleanly caught a rushed clearance kick and raced back to cross the whitewash for the second try of the half. Fullback Tom Waterhouse kicked the available 10 points, so the turnround saw the visitors 20-8 up.
Replacement prop Luke Daniels started the second half, giving Abbey’s scrum improved stability and 10 minutes later Ed House came on to replace flanker Chris Shaw.
Abbey’s decisive play came just before the hour. A run from Handley linked up with centre Dylan Baptista who put down the try, which was quickly followed by a try from prop Ollie Charlton. Second row Dan Pawlett and scrum half Will Bevan finished the try scoring with Waterhouse adding the extras to the last try.