MATCH REPORT – Old Haileyburians vs Reeds Weybridge RFC
SURREY LEAGUE TWO Old Haileyburians 22pts Reeds Weybridge 23pts
This clash between the two top sides in the league was billed as a defining match in the season and it certainly lived up to the hype providing a nail biting, explosive game from beginning to end.
Haileyburians started well and early errors from Reeds meant they were soon in trouble as they struggled to exit from their own 22.Quick ball from a loose ruck and sharp passing ended up with the Haileyburians winger touching down under the sticks. In that first quarter, Reeds were truly in defensive mode and conceded another try when the No 8 barrelled his way over from short distance to stretch the lead.
Although Reeds have the reputation of a free flowing style of rugby they have a resolute and determined mind set and they gradually clawed their way back into the game by way of some pin point accurate penalty kicks from fly half Pete Davidge, three of them in quick succession.
Reeds best moment of the game came soon afterwards, skipper Billy Maddock thrusting through the midfield opened up the Haileyburian defence, quick hands and the ball was with No 8 Alex Corner, not many stop him from ten metres out and he was in for a converted try. The change round came with Reeds, unexpectedly, in the lead by four points.
The second half saw Reeds weather a constant barrage of Haileyburian pressure with attackers constantly recycling the possession, and driving the ball up the park. But it was that robust defensive work that won the game for Reeds, one crunching tackle in the midfield and the ball bounced wickedly for the Haileyburian centre, fly half Davidge was on it like a flash booting the ball up the park, a magical pick up from Olly Palmer the scrum half to feed winger Dan Veale who found Davidge up in support to score under the posts.
The game no moved into that last quarter and it was Reeds who were battling to keep their line intact but following wayward clearance kick the Haileyburians winger sidestepped his way through the defence from half way to score by the flag. In a last five frenetic minutes the Haileyburian centre then battered his way over out wide to bring his men within one point, but the conversion drifted wide. The hosts outscored Reeds by four tries to two but the usually reliable Haileyburian kicker had an off day and that contributed to the narrowest of victories for Reeds.
Man of the Match: Jointly given to No 8 Alex Corner and lock forward Simon Fozard for their massive defensive work.George Spinks