SURREY LEAGUE TWO CRANLEIGH 19pts REEDS WEYBRIDGE 20pts
A huge crowd turned out to watch the clash between Reeds Weybridge, and Cranleigh who have the league’s best defensive points record, and it was a ferocious encounter from the start with the result in doubt until the final whistle.
Up front Cranleigh had some big men that gave them a slight edge in the tight but Reeds No 8 Alex Corner was still able to turn defensive situations into full blown attacks.
In the first quarter it was the home side that spent long periods in Reeds half but without any points on the board, and it was Reeds who opened up the scoring when Tom McLean, Reeds aggressive centre snapped up a loose pass and raced thirty metres to touch down under the sticks. Out in the wide open spaces Reeds looked very dangerous, and when the Cranleigh defence strayed offside and Pete Davidge banged over the penalty to give a ten point lead.
Next quick hands gave young Chris Stegmann the powerful winger just enough space to dive into the corner with the conversion just going wide. Reeds were making ground in the midfield with some direct running lines but that impressive Cranleigh defensive record has been hard earned and Reeds were not able to break through until just on the half hour mark when Billy Maddock came hammering through from ten metres, twenty points on the board without reply, it was looking good for Reeds.
However, in the last ten minutes of the first half Reeds were under siege on their line as Cranleigh came so close to scoring, just inches away from the line and Reeds, over eager in defence went offside once too often and had a man sin-binned for the first ten minutes of the second half.One man down in defence and Cranleigh took advantage immediately after the restart when Olly Sutton the big centre broke through for a converted try, it was game on.
Reeds responded by attacking from all parts and came close to extending their lead on several occasions, but solid Cranleigh defence that kept them out. Midway through that second half Reeds were deep in their own twenty two, the ball went to ground and Cranleigh’s centre was able to dot down for another converted try.
Six points the difference and Cranleigh had the chance to narrow the lead with a penalty, which drifted wide. Next the Cranleigh, centre chipped the ball through the defence and won the race to the try line, but the conversion drifted wide. A penalty or a breakaway try could have clinched the game for either side but those last ten minutes belonged to Reeds.
Man of the Match
In a monumental battle that went on up front, Reeds young lock forward Simon Fozzard earned his Man of the Match award with his uncompromising presence throughout.