Ab­bots led lead slip as Welsh stretch defence

Home side made to set­tle for bonus point af­ter late rally RUGBY

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - By Tom Moore tom.moore@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A BEL­TER of a strike from Alissa Down saved Den­ham Ladies a pre­cious point at home at home to high-fly­ing Mil­ton Keynes on Sun­day, writes Jon Batham.

The hosts were trail­ing to a well-worked opener by their ri­vals from up the M1 when Downs un­leashed a 30-yard pearler which flew into the roof of the net.

Both keep­ers en­sured it fin­ished 1-1, leav­ing Den­ham ninth in the stand­ings.

Welsh opened their ac­count with a penalty kick in front of the posts, but Ab­bots struck back straight away with a 35-me­tre kick on the an­gle from fly-half El­liot Wake to even out the score.

Ab­bots, ini­tially strug­gling to get out of their half, were gifted with the try of the match when left wing Ibrahim Kabia seized on a loose pass and ran 60 me­tres, weav­ing through six de­fend­ers to off-load to sup­port­ing player, for­ward Henry Petch, who com­pleted the move in style, crash­ing over the white wash

The re­serves mean­while took brag­ging rights from their derby with Weald­stone, thump­ing them 5-1 at The Den.

Elishia Allen’s brace led the rout with fur­ther goals com­ing cour­tesy of Char­lie-Leigh Dixon, Crys­tal Clarke and Lau­ren Page.

Among the club’s youth sides the U13s were the only win­ners, beat­ing Bed­well Rangers 4-2. Bed­well led 1-0 at the break but Grace Nwoseh turned their for­tunes around with a quick-fire for his side’s first try, which Wake con­verted.

Equally matched but guilty of mul­ti­ple in­fringe­ments, both sides dou­ble.

Kaitlin Brown made it 3-1, but Bed­well struck back and it needed Nwoseh to tee up Lau­ren Clarke for a fourth five min­utes from time to seal the points.

Mean­while, Kayleigh Cur­rivan’s hat-trick proved only enough for a point for the U15s as they drew 4-4 with Crys­tal Palace.

Cur­rivan’s hero­ics

and

an traded penal­ties back and forth un­til the gaps opened up al­low­ing Welsh to breech the defence and run in two well worked tries. An­nie Walsh strike saw Den­ham led 4-1 be­fore a rous­ing fightback drew Palace level.

Even then the hosts may have won as they hot the cross­bar twice and the post once in a goal­mouth scram­ble in the dy­ing min­utes.

Else­where, Amy Martins’ goal could not save the 10-men Se­nior De­vel­op­ment Squad from a 2-1 de­feat to Crys­tal Palace and the U12s lost by the same score away to En­field de­spite a late goal from Mad­die Kirkby.

A fur­ther suc­cess­ful penalty kick for Ab­bots saw the play­ers go into the break, tied at 13-13.

Ab­bots worked the ball well in the op­po­si­tion twenty two, al­low­ing for­ward Kyle Buck­ing­ham to drive through and touch down in the cor­ner.

Nig­gling mis­takes gave the ball back to the vis­i­tors who slot­ted a fur­ther penalty through the up­rights with ease, but a quick turnover ball from the restart forced Welsh to de­fend heav­ily and, find­ing them­selves guilty of indis­ci­pline, con­ceded a penalty try, which Wake con­verted.

With a nine point buf­fer Ab­bots set­tled into their game, but it was not one-way traf­fic as the vis­i­tors took the bat­tle deep into their hosts half and with a defence stretched too thin, they eas­ily ran in un­der the posts to close the gap.

A fur­ther try from the vis­i­tors saw them edge into the lead with Ab­bots hav­ing to set­tle for a sin­gle los­ing bonus point.

n EQUALLY MATCHED: Hilling­don Ab­bots could not take ad­van­tage of Lon­don Welsh’s indis­ci­pline

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