Monday, 15 August 2022

Ross bags hat-trick in milestone match as side maintain winning record

ARRON ROSS celebrated his 100th cap with a hat-trick of tries as Abbey tightened their grip on the leadership of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier League

ARRON ROSS celebrated his 100th cap with a hat-trick of tries as Abbey tightened their grip on the leadership of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier League.

For the visit of Slough Abbey they shuffled their back division to give experienced Tom Burns a run out in the centre, putting Dan Love on the bench and pushing Dylan Baptista out to the wing.

Fungai had his first start of the season as hooker, to get match sharpness having been a regular, unused replacement for most of the season.

The first half was a stop-start affair, littered with errors. Abbey committed the sin of a slow start, surrendering the ball easily and making handling errors as they led 20-5 at the interval.

Abbeyâ??s opening attack was five minutes in, a simple miss move saw centre Ross burst through from his own half. Slough caught him, conceding a penalty which Tom Waterhouse punished with three points. Two minutes later, Slough had their chance to match that with a penalty kick of their own, but it drifted wide.

Sloughâ??s forwards battled away, but when their backs dropped the ball in attack on the 10th minute, winger Steve Warwick kicked ahead twice, finishing by touching down the first try, converted by Waterhouse with a great kick from wide out.

Slough struck back within five minutes with their own try, making use of the space vacated by centre Tom Burns, yellow carded for walking away when the referee was talking to him.

Frustration had been building as the referee took time to explain decisions at length and Slough took their time over minor knocks, preventing any continuity of play and leading to 12 minutesâ?? extra being added to the first half. Abbey managed a further try, Ross finishing off a good break from Baptista, and finished with Waterhouse adding three points from his boot.

In the second half Abbey upped the tempo, took the game to Slough up front and with strong running backs, six second half tries were added with no reply.

In a tricky wind Waterhouse did well with a kicking success of 50 per cent, bringing his personal tally to 21 points, five of those points being the start of scoring in the second half. Abbey then dominated with Sam Hallett charging forward, taking two tries in the process, and a settled scrum saw number eight Mike Beckley picking up from the base of a scrum to add to the try tally, and Ross cross the white line twice to grab his hat-trick.

Abbey: Waterhouse, Baptista, Ross, Burns (Love), Warwick, Bird, Bevan, Charlton, Fungai (Collier), Postlethwaite, S Hallet, Pawlett, Shaw, J Hallett (House), Beckley.

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