Inexperienced Reeds fall to last gasp penalty kick

GRAVESEND 24 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 23

When Reeds Peter Cole slotted a siege gun penalty shot, from way out in the sixth minute of injury time, it put Reeds two points clear and Reeds supporters thought they had won the game. However, in the eighth minute of injury time, Gravesend responded with a touchline penalty shot of their own and secured the narrow victory. In terms of territory and forward dominance, the big town side forwards had the edge, but out wide, with limited possession, Reeds looked a good deal sharper and constantly threatened to break through. During that first half, Reeds, despite a shortage of possession going forward, managed to fire the ball out wide to their talented back division, young Will Jones is seriously quick and elusive as well and he squeezed in by the flag, Peter Cole hoisted over a difficult conversion and Reeds, were ahead having consistently pinned Gravesend in their own half via a number of clever touch-finding kicks. Reeds were however having problems containing the big town forwards but they secured sufficient possession to allow their backs to find gaps in the Gravesend defence, Jack Jesty the full back came thrusting into the attack following a mis pass from Cole and he crashed over in the corner with Cole once again Cole collecting the extras. Moments later Cole banged over another penalty and Reeds had a 17-0 lead. But they were up against a bigger set of forwards and trying to secure possession in those situations can lead to penalties and that certainly cost Reeds considerable territory throughout the game. Just on half time Gravesend created a series of rucks and mauls and rumbled over for a try under the sticks for a seven pointer. At the change round, Reeds still had a ten-point lead but they were locked into defensive mode. It was in those circumstances that Lewis Jones the flanker earned his Man of the Match Award, he was a tackle machine against a powerful set of forwards his committed defensive performance was vital to his side. Reeds didn’t get too many opportunities, but when they did, they were dangerous out wide, with young Marcus Clark on the march attacking from all parts of the park, but Reeds were not able to tie in the Gravesend defensive cover to give that extra space. Half way through the second half the home side were right back into the game with their third try of the day, Reeds forwards were tied into the loose maul and the Gravesend flanker touched down for a seven pointer and Reeds were four points adrift at 17-21. Then there was that late drama of the penalty exchanges with two huge penalties from Peter Cole putting Reeds into a two-point lead deep in injury time, only for Reeds to concede a penalty in the dying minute and for Gravesend by way of another difficult penalty shot, to secure a one-point win.

Nigel Connell, Reeds Director of Rugby commented afterwards that the side had lost the game in the third quarter through some poor decision making that gave the home team easy points and should give the team plenty of food for thought going forward but that he was proud he of his young team’s performance against a big and aggressive town side that had kept the final result in doubt until the very end.

Man of the Match - Lewis Jones
Man of the Match – Lewis Jones

Immediately after the game, Sophie Capito Reeds Sports Therapist was the lead first aider who came to the aid of a Gravesend spectator who had collapsed. Sophie’s prompt CPR action kept the patient stable prior to the arrival of the ambulance crew and we wish that person well.

Team Sheet: Lennon Day / Rhys Day / Kerran Bevis / Ross Stratton / Cameron Goodwin / Simon Fozard / George Corner / Lewis Jones / Alex Corner (capt) / Jonathan Lack / Peter Cole / Marcus Clark / Ethan Taylor / Josh Clark / Josh Foreman / Jack Jesty / Jonathan Levitt / Will Jones

Reeds 2nd XV also lost a narrow game to Old Tiff’s 26 -27.

Next week Reeds are at home to Beckenham, Kick Off 2:30.