Swindon College win Southern Counties Senior Vase

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Swindon College Old Boys survived an early scare to win the Southern Counties Senior Vase and move a step closer to playing at Twickenham.

But hosts Abingdon made life difficult for Old Boys in the opening stages, scoring a converted try and a penalty to lead 10-0 after 26 minutes.

Swindon College though fought back bravely as the centre partnership of Mathew Allen and Tucker Blinkhorn made some bruising runs while the forwards pushed Abingdon back to their own try line.

The home side’s defence held firm until a barnstorming run from Blinkhorn who evaded a challenge to score with Charlie Grabe adding the extras.

Immediately from the restart James Murray set up what could be the try of the season, showing safe hands to take the kick, evading four tackles before handing over to James McLaughlin who in turn fed Grabe to score.

Grabe added the extras from a difficult kick and having faced a 10-point deficit, Old Boys now led by four points.

Five minutes later full back Stuart Knight smashed through the defensive line to score although Grabe this time missed the conversion.

Leading 19-10 going into the second half, Swindon College wasted no time in putting the game to bed with Knight showing off some silky footwork again to touch down. Grabe redeemed himself for his earlier miss to add the extras as College moved 26-10 ahead.

The match was effectively won soon after as substitute Michael Calvert unselfishly passed to fly half Jamie Park who stepped inside before putting Allen over the line with Grabe adding the extras.

Although they had a 33-10 deficit to chase, Abingdon refused to give up and after Old Boys changed their entire back row, penalties against the Swindon side racked up.

Swindon College were then reduced to 14 men when Tommy Farr, brought on only minutes earlier, was binned for a team penalty.

This prompted Abingdon to go for broke and when Richard Smith was also sin-binned, the home side forced the ball over the line and converted to reduce the arrears.

Abingdon though were never going to catch Old Boys, who now move into the South West Senior Vase Final where they face Withycombe at home on March 14th.

Watch YourSportSwindon’s video highlights from Swindon College Old Boys’ fine win above.