READING RFC’s first visit to Wallingford for seven years did not go well as the home side scored four tries to win 38-22 in their Southern Counties North clash.

For Reading, No. 8 Adam Veale touched down and scrum half Nick Portch scored two tries which he converted himself. Both had fine games, but were unable to prevent defeat.

Three times in the first half-hour Reading conceded tries from mistakes when they were attacking.

On each occasion a miss-pass led to the home side being freed and a mixture of good running and fortunate bounces saw them take advantage each time. As a result after half an hour the home side had a 22-8 lead without really looking the better side.

The rest of the match, from Reading’s point of view, was attempted catch-up. By the 65th minute this looked possible as Portch’s two tries had taken them to 31-22 down, but a late well-worked try brought the home team a bonus-point win.

It was a difficult day for head coach Ben Wills, who came on to play with good effect in the second half. He and his coaching team will have work to do – on morale as well as skills – before the team go on the field to play local rivals Abbey at Holme Park on Saturday.

Reading started the game well and were threatening in the home 22 when the ball was lost and Wallingford raced away to score. Sam Bowers’ penalty brought Reading back into the game, but a repeat of the first try stretched the home lead to 15-3.

Reading came back as a great run by Chris Greig (pictured) was followed by good driving by Veale for a try. Reading seemed on the way back, but before half time they had conceded another converted try and two penalties to a now confident home side.

Trailing 25-8 at half time, Reading had much to do, but they settled down to playing their best rugby and scored two tries, both from Portch.

The first came when he read a Wallingford move perfectly to intercept and touch down under the posts.

The second came after Veale broke from the back of a scrum and passed to Portch, who dummied to pass to his wing but then cut in to score under the posts. Portch converted both tries, but that was as good as it got as the home side kicked a penalty and ran in another converted try.