Patched Up Reeds go down Fighting


A sixty plus mile journey to the far reaches of Kent to confront a Medway side, that has a huge catchment area of Gillingham, Chatham, and Rochester, encouraged by a baying partisan crowd was always going to be a big ask, and it was even bigger for Reeds who were short of several of their first-players in a team that featured no starting locks, two debutants, and backs playing in the back row. Up front in the tight however, Reeds had the immovable presence of Richard Phillip that helped secure quality possession from that department, however, possession from the lineouts was unsurprisingly far less successful with winger Marcus Clark being drafted in to help with the jumping duties.

Medway had the benefit of a strong breeze in the first half and they pinned Reeds down in their own half for long periods aided by a series of mistakes from Reeds that gifted them good field position and plenty of possession. That territorial advantage allowed Medway to take an early six-point lead. Reeds were locked into defensive mode against a mobile set of forwards, points were inevitable, two tries before the change round with just a penalty shot from Jack Jesty in reply and Reeds were eighteen points adrift at 21 – 3. Not something that this Reeds side experience too frequently.  

Queue the second half, one or two decisions went against Reeds and poor discipline cost them territory and a couple of yellows from a referee who was increasingly ‘’card happy’’ issuing 7 cards in total across the course of the match, the result being another unconverted try to take the score to 26 – 3. But there is a huge resilience underlying this Reeds side, and Reeds attacked from within their own twenty-two the move being created by debutant full back Hamish Dalgarno, who showed an elusive step to beat two defenders and offload to Billy Maddock who in turn motored up field and offloaded to Alex Corner who took play deep into the twenty-two   before passing on the inside to Josh Clark to score under the sticks from 70 meters out; 26 -10. Reeds were buoyed with confidence from such a great score and the next 5 – 10-minute period of the game belonged to them and they went close several times to securing a second try. At this stage with twenty minutes left on the clock and sixteen points between the two side and Reeds on a roll, a losing bonus point was a serious hope. Indiscipline hurt Reeds however, and backchat saw two more players head to the bin. Reeds were stretched too thinly and consequently conceded three more tries in the closing quarter. Two newcomers to the side, young Hamish Dalgarno a full back showed remarkable attacking presence and Jakob Howe the front row forward, solid in the tight and abrasively powerful in loose play with, Will Relfe, a centre by trade, deputising in the back row making some thunderous hits. Reeds DoR, Nige Connell, summed up matters well at the end with Reeds having the ability but no the availability right now. Hopefully that situation will change soon.

Left to Right: Hamish Dalgarno, Will Relfe, & Jakob Howe

Left to Right: Hamish Dalgarno, Will Relfe, & Jakob Howe

Team: Lennan Day / Rhys Day / Richard Phillip / Jakob Howe / Harry Ring / George Corner / Josh Brown / Billy Maddock / Alex Corner (Capt) / Ollie Palmer / Josh Clark / Jack Jesty / Marcus Clark / Nick Browne / Brad Robbins / Hamish Dalgarno / Will Relfe.

Reeds next League game is against Gravesend at Home on March 2nd

GS March 17th 2024

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