Match Report Basingstoke vs Reeds Weybridge RFC 10-10-2018
RFU JUNIOR VASE 2ND ROUND BASINGSTOKE 19pts REEDS WEYBRIDGE 32pts
Botterill hat-trick Blitz’s Basingstoke
The prospect of two unbeaten sides meeting in the second round of the Junior Vase attracted a huge crowd to the Basingstoke ground which boasts a near on full size pitch and an impressive covered stand, there aren’t many grounds like that in the Surrey leagues.
Those wide open spaces suited Reeds expansive style but their plans to run the ball around were limited by the rain sodden conditions, but that suited the gritty town pack who caused Reeds all sorts of problems with their ability to drive the ball around the fringes. However, once Reeds got hold of the ball and fired it out wide, they were able to stretch the Basingstoke defence, young James Botterill doesn’t need too much room to move and he clocked up the first try wide out.
It was all Reeds in that first quarter but the lead didn’t last too long, Basingstoke skipper John Bird set up a series of rolling mauls, recycling the possession driving ever nearer to the Reeds line, and with the Reeds defence locked in James Prior the hard running centre crashed his way over under the posts. That set the scene for most of the game, the big town side rumbling around the park, denying Reeds possession from the loose encounters and shunting play up the park into Reeds territory.
Up front in the tight scrummages it was a different story however, Reeds have a couple of powerhouses in Richard Philip and Josh Brown they can do the grafting work up front that enabled Reeds backs, marshalled so well by fly half Johnny Rogers, to set up a series of penetrating attacks, quick hands in the midfield put Botterill away for his second try of the day.
Playing with the elements, the Basingstoke game strategy of keeping the ball tight was starting to pay dividends and in the second quarter, Reeds just couldn’t get their hands on the ball to the extent they had done. As the town side drove play into Reeds territory, retaining possession, Joe Bissett, the lively scrum half darted away from the maul and touched down for Basingstoke to edge into the lead.
Just before the change round, another rolling maul gave them clean possession and full back Leon Williams came thrusting into the line for an unconverted try. It was looking good for the town side at the break, the lashing rain and wind combined to slow down Reeds running game and Basingstoke were content to use the ‘stick the ball up the jumper’, tactics that had brought them three tries. But that steady work in the tight from the Reeds pack was beginning to wear down the opposition and produce penalties.
Playing with the elements Reeds began to control the game territorially and Johnny Rogers banged over a long range conversion to narrow the gap. Shortly afterwards, Richard Philip, Reeds mobile prop, forward brushed off a couple of defenders to score following a prolonged period of pressure in the Basingstoke 22 and Rogers collected the extras.
It was only a three point cushion but now Reeds fitness was beginning to show and Basingstoke were conceding penalties in the tight and with Rogers collecting another three points, it was a six point game, but one try under the sticks for the town side would be decisive. The rucks and mauls produced quality possession for Basingstoke and that had Reeds rocking backwards, perhaps with time running out Basingstoke might have chanced their arm out wide.
But it was Reeds who collected the conclusive winning points, the midfield once again putting their young winger Botterill into space and the cover just couldn’t handle his pace as he touched down for his third try of the day.
Reeds Director of Rugby Nigel Connell commented afterwards Reeds had problems containing the driving loose play around the fringes but lessons would be learned from that experience.
Reeds will be hoping for a home draw in the next round of the Junior Vase that will be played on November 24th.
Man of the Match: James Botterill for his game defining three try haul in tough conditions.
All told another gritty performance from the side which welcomed back Will Ambidge after a lengthy injury and Rhys Joel who settled in well on his debut.
Next week, Reeds are at home to Old Wimbledonians for their next Surrey League One match.
George Spinks 07860 394687