Match Report Old Mid Whitgiftians vs Reeds Weybridge RFC 26-01-19
Old Mid Whitgiftians 12pts, Reeds Weybridge RFC 32pts
This top of the table clash, between Reeds who have the best defensive record in the league against the side that has scored the most points, was billed as a defining moment for Reeds bid to win the Surrey League One title. Reeds certainly got a lot closer to their goal with this result but it wasn’t until the latter stages of the game that Reeds were able to build a comfortable lead.
It didn’t start too well for Reeds, a series of handing errors had them in defensive mode within their own twenty two and for the first 20 minutes they were having a seriously difficult time in the tight scrummages.
That provided quality possession for the big Midwives pack who hammered away at the Reeds try line, but they just couldn’t get the ball over the whitewash, Midwives came away with three points from a penalty, not much of a reward for their territory time and the intense pressure they had exerted. However, in that second quarter, things began to change, up front, the Midwives pack began to go backwards and Reeds were seeing more ball from the lineouts, they didn’t spend too much time in Midwives half but when they did they looked so dangerous and following a penalty to tie the scores they then instigated a move that led to the first try of the day, Pete Davidge Reeds fly half instigated a move deep within the Midwives twenty two and young Chris Stegmann, Reeds winger crashed over by the flag, the conversion attempt was blown away in the wind but moments later Midwives strayed offside and Davidge collected three points to stretch the lead.
The strong Midwives pack was giving Reeds all sorts of problems with their rolling rucks and mauls, difficult to stop without conceding penalties and just before the break, Dan Crouch, the veteran Midwives fly half banged over another penalty to narrow the lead to five points at the change round. There was a real battle going on at the breakdowns and Reeds have a couple of grafters, George Corner the hooker and Will Ambidge the flanker who are so good at stealing the ball from the most unpromising situations, it was that work on the ground, from Will Ambidge that earned him the Man of the Match Award.
The young flanker collected Reeds second try following a good break in midfield from substitute Kerran Beavis who neatly offloaded to Ambidge after taking play deep into the heart of the Midwives defence dragging defenders with him allowing Ambidge to make further ground neatly stepping the remaining defensive cover from 30 metres out to touch down by the sticks with Davidge collecting the extras. That twelve point lead didn’t last too long, the Midwives pack took up position in Reeds twenty two and rumbled ever closer, Reeds conceded a couple more penalties and Midwives reliable conversion specialist, Dan Crouch, knocked both of them over.
It was a six point game and the next try was going to be decisive, Reeds backs were asking a lot of questions of the Midwives defence, gaps were appearing and it was clear that Reeds superior fitness was beginning to be a factor. Reeds forwards came close to crossing the line and finally the ball popped out for skipper Billy Maddock to cut a line from ten metres out, to crash over the line, Davidge knocked the conversion over and Midwives needed a couple of scores to get back into the game. In that last twenty minutes the game was now swinging even more decisively in Reeds favour and when Reeds brought on James Botterill, their young winger who has devastating pace and side stepping magic as well, he was given the ball on the half way line, broke through the defence and touched down under the sticks.
Man of the Match Award
Will Ambidge for his tireless work in defence and open play – he proved a real thorn in Midwives side.
Next Saturday, Reeds are at home in the fourth round of the Junior Vase against Ashford, unbeaten at the top of Kent League One.