Another win and another 5 tries for Abingdon!
By Amie Hedges
Abingdon prevail at Phoenix after defending for 60 minutes of the game!
Phoenix's clubhouse was packed to the brim on Saturday as Abingdon 1XV was just one of 4 teams playing at the grounds. The weather was very mild, but the sun was very low making it very difficult for both teams to see what they were doing. In Abingdon's history of playing Phoenix, we have never beaten them by more than 6 points and therefore knew this was going to be a hard game for the players.
The first quarter of the game couldn't have gone any better for Abingdon, as 5 tries were scored during the first twenty minutes. The first came from fly-half Ollie Young, as Abingdon win the first lineout of the game and maul the ball a good 20-30m down the pitch. As more and more of Phoenix's players were drawn into the Maul, Abingdon got the ball out the backs who had a 3 man overlap, passed the ball down the line with impeccable hands where the ball reached Ollie Young to dive over the line. Centre Chris Stables adds the extra two to make it 0-7 just 3 minutes in.
A small amount of time passed before Fullback, Charlie Palmer sprinted down the wing from Abingdon's own half to score in the corner. 0-12 to Abingdon.
The third try came from Hooker, Lee Taylor, assisted by Prop, Pete Healey after Abingdon won another lineout which Phoenix tried to collapse but Abingdon managed to keep momentum going. Pete Healey broke away from the Maul and looked clear for the try but popped the ball to Hooker, Lee Taylor allowing Lee to add the 5 points. 0-17 to Abingdon.
Phoenix took kick off and the ball managed to curve backwards into their own mans hands (wouldn't have been able to do that again even if they tried!). Abingdon's Centre Chris Stables kicks a beauty of a free kick down Phoenix's 5m line setting up Abingdon's 4th try. Abingdon win the lineout and maul the ball, however Phoenix keep their defence by not allowing Abingdon to progress further with the ball. Abingdon knock the ball on handing possession to Phoenix, but happily welcome the scrum on the 5m line. Winning the ball back, number Eight Josh Harwood darts for the try line drawing in some of Phoenixs defence but is caught just short of the line, the ball is the picked up by Flanker Dale Cross and pressed down over the try line to score the 4th try of the game. 22-0 to Abingdon.
Abingdon's fifth and final try comes from the efforts of Winger, Harry Hale as he evaded Phoenix's defenders to sprint down the wing before being tackled and a ruck is formed as Abingdon follow in support. The ball is passed out to second row and captain George Law who reaches the last foot to score the Abingdon's final try of the game. Chris Stables added the extra to make it 0-29 to Abingdon.
Before halftime, Phoenix missed a penalty kick at goal, but scored in the corner to take themselves off the mark. 5-29 at half time.
As the sun began to set, Abingdon had the sun directly burning into their eyes meaning it was more difficult to see the ball or what was past 1m in front of them. Phoenix went on to score a further 2 tries and a penalty to make it 20-29. Abingdon had the last say and added an extra 3 points whilst in front of the posts. Final score 20-32 to Abingdon.
Next up, big game for Abingdon next Saturday as they take on Gosford All Blacks in the first round of the County Shield! Early kick off at 12:30 to allow time for the players, to shower and get dressed ready for the big England game being shown on the big screen!!!