Sunday, 29 November 2020

Abbey just two points away from the title

ABBEY were not as convincing as usual in their game at Beaconsfield, but they still managed

ABBEY were not as convincing as usual in their game at Beaconsfield, but they still managed to claim an invaluable victory to maintain their promotion drive in Southern Counties North.

Their success in this scrappy and error-strewn match means they now need just two points from their remaining three games to win the league.

Beaconsfield were quicker out of the blocks and they took a deserved lead after just three minutes and took the lead when home scrum-half Johnny Sobczyk passed inside to centre Callum Wilkinson to open Abbey’s defence for Jack Beard to cross the line.

He converted his own score, but Abbey reduced the deficit to 7-3 within five minutes when outside half Jim Dye landed a penalty from 30 metres, the ball crossing the bar via a post.

Beaconsfield were soon on the attack again and Abbey soon found themselves defending again in their own 22. By this time several penalties had been conceded, and after 15 minutes referee Dewald Swart lost patience and yellow-carded number eight Will Woodward. The hosts opted to kick for touch from the penalty, and from the line out Ken Kavanagh was driven over the line for his side’s second try.

Abbey then suffered a blow when Dampies limped off with a knee injury. Steve Drake replaced him, and after Sam Hallett had won the ball at the front of a line out Abbey were awarded a penalty 40 metres from the Beaconsfield posts. Dye’s effort dropped just short.

As the second quarter of the match progressed home winger Ryan Morgan was binned and Abbey kicked the resultant penalty to the corner. Chris Shaw then won the line out and Joe Hallett was driven over for a try. But Dye’s conversion attempt drifted wide.

Dampies surprisingly then returned to the action, and as half-time approached Abbey played their best rugby of the afternoon with Sam Hallett touching down under the posts and Dye’s drop-kicked conversion put Abbey in front.

Abbey lost their way after the restart, spending a long time in their own half. Dye was then injured and yellow cards handed out to Ross and home flanker Ben Owen and with 12 minutes of normal time remaining Baptista became the third Abbey player to see yellow, but matters were soon evened up again when Beard was also binned.

Beaconsfield attacked again but Beckly tackled well in defence, and then Dampies relieved the pressure with a good 30 metre run. Then Abbey suffered a further injury blow as Shaw was helped from the field with a nasty leg injury.

The hosts were then immediately awarded a penalty in a kickable position, but after opting for touch they blew the chance of scoring from the line out by over-kicking the penalty leaving Abbey able to hold on for the win.

Abbey: G Dampies (S Drake 26- 38 minutes), C Gingell, A Ross, L Burns, D Baptista, J Dye (S Drake 52 minutes), W Bevan, T Brain, M Toland, F Long (L Daniels 62 minutes), C Shaw (F Long 83 minutes), S Hallett, J Hallett, E House (M Beckly 39 minutes), W Woodward.

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