Tows weather storm to stay top

Liam Wilkinson with ball in hand. Picture by Jake McNulty
Liam Wilkinson with ball in hand. Picture by Jake McNulty

Towcestrians had to beat both the torrid weather conditions and Reading RFC at the weekend as they maintained their spot at the top of South West East One with a 21-8 victory.

Reading have struggled this season with only one win from their first five league games, however they came to Greens Norton Road with an attitude that belied their league position and proved difficult opponents to break down.

In fact, it was the visitors who started more brightly, pinning Tows back, only for winger James Hale, on his first start for Tows, to pick off a Reading pass and run three quarters of the pitch to score.

Ben Young converted for a 7-0 lead before Reading replied with a penalty, but Tows were now finding their groove as they played some decent rugby to win three successive penalties, all kicked by Young, to stretch their lead to 16-3.

In an error-strewn game in very poor conditions, continuity was always going to be difficult to find and despite creating chances, Tows were unable to finish them.

The second half continued in the same fashion, with errors from both sides as the weather and pitch worsened.

Reading managed to make a period of pressure count and crossed for a try before Tows finally got the ball down the line to Alex Chalcraft to run in to make the final score 21-8.

After the game, Tows head coach Robbie George said: “Reading came to play and are certainly a much better side than their results suggests.

“We looked rusty and am sure we will improve next week on this performance.”

Coach Darren Snook added: “They were a hard side to break down and it was a disciplined effort from our guys. I thought James Hale on debut showed what a good player he is and I was really pleased with Ben Young starting his first game at 10.”

Towcestrians IIs returned from Wellingborough with a 50-5 league victory, while the IIIs saw off Market Harborough 66-7 and the Colts beat St Neots 50-5.