Hungerford v Slough
Strong performance against determined opposition, away from home, sets the "Greenies" off on the right foot.
With a successful pre-season under their belt Slough travelled to Hungerford for their BBO Premier League opener.
It took just 10 minutes for Slough to open their scoring, Ben Foster rounding off a sustained handling move for Max Miles to convert from wide out.
A 10 minute stoppage for injury to a Hungerford player, thankfully not serious but enough to see him replaced, stopped Slough's momentum, but not long after the restart Slough were on the scoresheet again through irrepressible centre James OReilly, back in a Slough shirt after a few seasons away at Maidenhead. Miles making it 0-14.
Within minutes Ben Foster had crossed for his second with the flawless Miles taking the score out to 0-21 with half an hour gone.
Slough's momentum was then stopped after an incident seen by the referee as dangerous use of the boot saw flanker Rhys Amos issued a straight red.
Despite safely negotiating it to half time, indeed almost scoring again before the break, Slough seemed somewhat complacent at the start of the second period when a resurgent Hungerford enjoyed their best spell of the game and an indication of where they were vulnerable came as early as the second minute when the home No.8 took advantage of the numbers in the back row by making 50 metres whilst Slough were still pushing in the scrum! A repeat performance after 7 minutes saw Hungerford score from a scrum on their own 22 and just 3 minutes later Slough gifted the Hungerford centre an intercept and the conversion brought the score to 12-21.
In previous seasons this could have seen Slough's fragile confidence shattered but this side looks a different prospect and some ferocious forward driving saw Slough put Hungerford on the back foot and Miles converting a 24th minute penalty to make it 12-24.
This was the signal for the heavens to open and the last 20 minutes was played in torrential rain. Despite that, Slough managed to launch attacks and come close to the bonus point try twice before finally achieving it with the move of the game. A deep kick into Slough's 22 was well fielded and the subsequent breakout saw excellent interplay between forwards and backs up the left touchline before the final pass put gritty scrum half Tom Young in the clear for the final run over. For once the weather proved too much for skipper Miles and his conversion missed narrowly.
So despite being reduced to 14 men for over half the game Slough coach Alan Waters can be well satisfied with his squad's efforts as not too many sides will enjoy a win against Hungerford on their own pitch this season.
Early days, but a promising start.