Stow 16, Reading Abbey 19

STOW put in a much-improved and valiant performance against Reading Abbey which deservedly earned them a losing bonus point.

With a couple of players returning from injury, the shape and balance of the side looked a lot better. Upfront the young forwards held their own which gave a good platform for the back line to attack.

Reading scored first, scrum ball was quickly shifted to the blind and the rapid left wing scored in the corner, the difficult conversion was added. Stow immediately hit back with a Billy Maude penalty.

With Stow very much in the game and competing on all fronts it was disappointing when their defence leaked to let the visitors in for another converted try under the posts.

The Stow confidence was building and a brilliant break centre field saw Bradley Wrench rip through then cleverly chip the ball behind the Abbey defence for James Holmes to pounce on and score, Maude converted leaving the game nicely balanced at 14-10 at the break.

The second half was again a very close contest, a second Billy Maude penalty took Stow to within one point but then Abbey countered with an unconverted try in the corner. Stow upped the ante and took control of the last 10 minutes of the game keeping the visitors pinned down deep into their own half.

With time running out and down to the last play Stow were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and only 15 meters out, Dan Adams kicked the three points to leave Stow just short.

A week off before Stow travel to Aylesbury.