Alex Millar - two late tries
Newbury Blues 60 Reading Abbey 19
BLUES will face a promotion head-to-head with Clevedon at Monks Lane next Saturday after running home the tries in the sunshine against already-relegated Abbey.
The Somerset side finished second in the Tribute South West One West and beat Okehampton 55-34 in another cavalier game, and will now make the trip to Newbury with a place in National Three South West at stake.
Abbey played their part in the end of season free-for-all and, said Blues head coach Lee Goodall: “The performance Abbey put up today was in the top five of teams that have come here this year.
“They made us work hard but in the end, a bit of talent, a bit of flare and the game plan worked again.
“Now it’s two last training sessions and one last game.”
Abbey had the bonus - and blow of taking the lead after Dan Thorne had slotted over an early home penalty. Ben Mitchell ran the race to gather his own kick, but in beating three team-mates to the touchdown, sustained an injury that ended his game after only seven minutes.
Blues eventually got in front midway through the half when Rory Jones touched down before setting up Jamie Futcher to score and then strike again himself to give Blues a 22-5 interval lead, extended after the re-start despite the sin-binning of Cameron-Golby-Barr when Joe Pigott darted home.
Golby-Barr marked his return with a try before Sam Hallett and Ollie Walton’s scores sandwiched a Josh Love try, with Alex Millar powering over twice and Nick Wackwitz completing the tally on the final whistle.
The only down side for Blues was the recurrence of a hamstirng injury for full back Josh Bartlett, only a minute after he had come on as a second half replacement and that looks sure to rule him out of next week’s promotion decider.
Newbury Blues: T. Thorne; Golby-Barr, D. Thorne, Love, Futcher; Wackwitz, Pigott; Hicks, Macauley, G. Stewart; Bastable, Jones; Spanswick, D. Stewart, Miller. Subs: Sayers, Davis, Bartlett.
Reading Abbey: Greenaway; Strugar, Walton, Dampies, Bahlsen; Mitchell, Bevan; Charlton, Toland, Saunders; Knights, Hallett; House, Ellaboudy, Woodward. Subs: Postlethwaire, Shaw.