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RUGBY UNION: Monks hat-trick proves in vain
10:30am Tuesday 12th February 2013 in Sport
South West 1 East
JAMES Monks’s hat-trick could not prevent Witney losing 31-27 at Reading.
Full back Monks crossed the line three times in a thrilling game that saw Witney surrender 12-0 and 17-7 leads.
Reading No 8 Jamie Guttridge bagged a treble for the hosts, and two Andy Tweedie conversions proved decisive.
The visitors lost prop Jamie Burke to an early injury, but led via Monks’s first try, which came following a lineout steal.
Witney struck again with a breakaway try scored by centre Rich Stratford, fly half Henry Lamb converting.
Reading scrum half Rich Lester scored, with Tweedie converting, but good interplay between backs and forwards saw Monks notch his second.
Full back Ollie Johnson intercepted Lee Douglas’s pass to run in Reading’s second try from 80 metres, Tweedie converting.
Witney scrum half Gareth Campbell almost matched the feat, but lacked support.
The second half was all about Guttridge and his hat-trick, Tweedie converting two.
Campbell was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, while Lamb kicked a penalty.
Monks completed his treble in the final minute, with Lamb converting as Witney bagged two bonus points.