ALTHOUGH there were some outstanding individual performances, second-half ill-discipline cost Reading Abbey dear as they were edged out 18-17 by Southern Counties North high-flyers Beaconsfield at Rose Hill, writes Fiona Tomas.

A brace from centre Ben Mitchell (bottom right) and a superbly controlled try from skipper Will Woodward, taking the reins in injured Will Bevan’s absence, wasn’t enough to secure the win, although it was a much-improved display following the humiliation at Reading the week before.

Early defensive pressure from the home team startled the visitors, with solid tackles from scrum half Gavin Dampies and full back Jack Lambert-Taylor forcing Beaconsfield to concede errors and penalties.

When Abbey won back the ball, Dampies orchestrated some good phases of play at a high tempo, allowing locks Chris Shaw and Treacle Knights to make effective carries.

After fly half Rob Bryson’s first attempt at the posts drifted wide, Mitchell picked a weaving line through the centre, sidestepping the defence to register the first points of the afternoon.

Beaconsfield were quick to react at the restart and responded immediately with their inside centre Jonny Hughes blistering down the wing to cross the whitewash.

Their converted try was the last points of the first half, yet Abbey continued to pile on the pressure through constant carries and tactical kicking.

Too often, however, it was the last pass which went awry or their attacking platform was lost with the ball at the back of rucks.

As Beaconsfield regained possession, it was frantic scramble defence which led to winger Jules Greenaway, who had enjoyed some fine runs so far, being shown yellow for a high tackle.

The second half saw Abbey start brightly again, albeit with 14 men, and winger Remi Norville tore into Beaconsfield’s half once more.

Flanker Ed House’s subsequent carry saw a superb bit of play-making from the back row, who released Mitchell to power over the line, with Bryson adding the extras.

Beaconsfield, still with the man advantage, started to play a much more tactical game and began to work their way up the pitch, aided by Abbey’s frequent infringements.

Fly half Aled Lewis successfully landed two penalties to give them a one-point advantage while Abbey started to look unnerved for the first time.

Yet Abbey hit back as Woodward, left, went over, only for repeated errors to end with Shaw and prop Ollie Charlton yellow-carded.

Beaconsfield used this to their advantage once more, Dan Cady scoring in the corner to have the final say.

Abbey have a week off before the long trip to Stow-on-the-Wold on Saturday, November 25.