Mar 3 2012 By Tim Street
rugby ball Image 1
UNLUCKY Old Abbotstonians crashed out of the Middlesex Junior Vase 18-17 to a last-minute try at Harlequins Amateurs on Friday night.
With the game played under floodlights at Staines RFC, Herts/Middx Two side Abbots came close to pulling off an upset against their Herts/Middx One opponents, but came up agonisingly short.
Quins opened their account with a fine penalty kick from the Abbots' 22 line three minutes in, but Abbots replied on 15 minutes when Adam Wenham touched down the opening try, although the conversion was wide of the posts.
The second try was a classic, centre Dave Francis intercepting a pass from a Quins attack and running 70 metres unopposed for a stunning effort, which was this time converted by Dan Tuckwell for the Hayes side.
Quins then landed a drop-kick, to pull it back to 12-6 at the break, but Abbots extended their lead after the interval when Wenham side stepped much of the Quins defence, and following a missed tackle, wing forward Kyle Buckingham ran 50 metres for an unconverted try.
However, that only served to signal a Quins comeback, and they hit straight back with a converted try to make it 17-13.
Both sides were evenly matched in the scrum, and although the Quins line-out started to crumble, they put together a string of good passes, forcing their way over with a minute remaining for a winning try.
In league action, Old Merchant Taylors' stayed top of Herts/Middx Two on Saturday, albeit having played more games than the chasing pack, with a 23-7 win over Kilburn Cosmos.
Uxbridge kept up the pressure in third place with a 52-17 hammering of Old Isleworthians, with Jamie Dack scoring two second half tries. Gareth Nicholls, Tom Redrup, Hamilton Reed, Mickey Weymouth, Jason Clay and Luke Matthews all crossed the whitewash too for the hosts.
However, Ickenham remain in relegation danger following a 27-7 loss at Old Grammarians, and in London One North, Ruislip won 17-5 at Brentwood, with tries from Dan Porter, Phil Grehan and Jay Oko, and a JP Grayling conversion.
Ruislip rugby manager Paul Flynn said: “We are getting stronger an stronger. We only had a makeshift front row out, but Brentwood could not cope. It was one-way traffic and we squandered chances to score more, but it was also our best defensive performance of the season.”