Dogged Determination by Reeds Makes it 5 from 5 Away from Home
GUILDFORD 14 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 20
Guildford RFC celebrate their centenary this year, their results have been mixed, but they defeated Reeds by a single point in the early season game and recently have beaten both Farnham and Reigatians, both in the top half of the league table.
Reeds are at their best in dry conditions, which allow their quick back division to attack from all parts of the park, however, the muddy pitch and blustery wind were the ingredients for a full-on forward battle rather than anything more expansive. And Guildford had a big set of battle-hardened campaigners, built for the job, who gave Reeds serious problems throughout the game and shut down many of Reeds promising opportunities. Having said that, in the first quarter Reeds, against a gentle slope and the wind had the best of the territory, a ten-metre metre lineout, a text book lineout collection from Simon Fozard followed by a rolling maul and it was young Rhys Day, the hooker, who barrelled his way over the line for a five pointer. Reeds were on the march, with a number of promising length of the field breaks by Marcus Clark coming to nought due to the final pass going astray in difficult conditions yet they continued to threaten the Guildford line. A hurried Guildford clearance was charged down by Peter Cole the No 10 and Reeds were into a ten-point lead after 20 minutes and looking good for the win. But injuries to two key backline players badly affected Reeds momentum with the back-line going through a major re-shuffle that saw firstly Alex Corner and then Michael Wasko move into the back line. Peter Cole the fly half was side-lined with a calf injury, and soon after, his replacement, Jack Jesty, playing at full-back, was injured. Reeds rang the changes, and Guildford sensing the opportunity came back into the game with a seven pointer. It happened, after Reeds were penalised for drifting offside in the red zone, a quick-thinking Guildford scrum half tapped the penalty and ran through the defence to score under the sticks. Guildford were right back in the game, and whilst Reeds had a narrow three -point lead at 10 – 7, it didn’t last for too long. The Guildford pack once again drove play deep into the red zone, a five-metre lineout, as a result of a penalty that came from Reeds trying to run the ball out of their 22 when the safer options was to clear for touch and their big pack shunted forward and mauled over the line, the Guildford fly half collected the extras for a four-point lead at 14 – 10. It was in the midfield where Billy Maddock the hard running centre earned his Man of the Match Award, with his busting, full on, runs through the Guildford defensive wall that created so many opportunities for the back division. Just on the stroke of half time Reeds were given a penalty in front of the posts after prolonged Reeds pressure and Josh Clark banged over the conversion to make it a one-point at the change round with the breeze and a gentle slope in their favour. 14 – 13. But those advantages didn’t translate into too many attacking opportunities, Reeds like to attack from deep with quick hands and footwork to match, however, the conditions made handling difficult. Reeds had some exciting moments but it was some quick thinking from winger Marcus Clark who put Reeds into the lead, a penalty in front of the sticks was surely the chance to put Reeds into a two point lead. Young Clark is full of confidence and he thought differently, you are a hero or a villain in these situations, a quick tap and he hit the line at full bore pace and was over the line for a converted try and a six-point lead at 14 – 20. Guildford came back strongly, they threw the kitchen sink at Reeds, roared on by a huge home crowd, they had the best of the territory in that last quarter, Guildford, led by their aggressive pack and outstanding 8 had their tanks on Reeds front lawn, a converted try would give them the game. They came so close, but they were up against a committed Reeds side that managed to keep their line secure in those last ten minutes with the entire pack and centre pairing particularly instrumental in stopping any further scores. That’s now five wins on the trot away from home with the result being based on dogged determination and defence as much as anything, but next week, Reeds are back on home ground to welcome Horsham, the league leaders for their first visit to Whiteley in what is sure to prove a very tough challenge.
Man of the Match Billy Maddock
Team sheet: Josh Brown / Rhys Day / Lennan Day / Kerran Beavis / Simon Fozard / Michael Wasko / Cameron Goodwin / George Corner / Alex Corner (Capt) / Luke Edwards / Jonathan Lack / Peter Cole / Josh Clark / Billy Maddock / Marcus Clark / Jonathan Levett / Ethan Taylor / Jack Jesty
Guildford 2nd XV 0 pts Reeds Weybridge 2nd XV 57pts