Reeds Dig Deep to Stop Their Losing Streak

REEDS WEYBRIDGE 41 GRAVESEND 35

With three minutes left on the clock Reeds were losing by one point, but in one last attack initiated from well within their own half, Reeds back division fired the ball out wide, quick hands from Josh Clark, Jonathan Levitt, and Marcus Clark put winger Joe Moriarty away, just inside the touchline, with the cover fanning across to bounce him into touch, but big Joe Moriarty takes some stopping, he shrugged off a couple of tackles and he ran in under the sticks for a seven pointer to win the game. This fixture was postponed from last week as a result of a waterlogged pitch and that left both sides short of regular players who had made plans to watch the international games. It did provide the opportunity for Reeds to field some of their up-and-coming players with Reeds fielding three 19-year-olds in their squad whereas Gravesend had called up some of their veterans and second XV players especially in their backline. There was a difference in levels of fitness too and that proved to be a crucial factor in the last quarter. Back to the earlier phases; and Reeds were defending the slope with Gravesend having the best of the territory winning plenty of ball from lineouts and scrum, Reeds were in defensive mode and conceded an early penalty, but Reeds hit back with a long range shot from full back Jack Jesty, it was his deadly accuracy with conversions and penalties, together with a try of his own following pressure by Reeds in the Gravesend twenty-two that kept the scoreboard ticking over in Reeds favour. However, in those early stages, Reeds were under the cosh, especially when the big Gravesend forwards rumbled forward with the ball held at the back of the maul, they collected two tries from such moves in the first half before Jack Jesty was given some space wide out and touched down for a converted try to make it 13 – 15. Just on the break, Gravesend laid siege to the Reeds line, inevitably, Reeds conceded a penalty, some quick thinking from the visitors, who collected the ball from the spot, a quick tap and go and the scrum half dived over the whitewash to make it 13 – 20 at half time with all Gravesend’s points to this juncture having come from Reeds indiscipline and / or errors.

Now Reeds had the slope, they were winning more possession from the forward play helped by another outstanding performance from Lewis Jones the lock forward, his powerful running in combination with the inspirational leadership of skipper Herbie Finn and ball carrying of young Charles Collyer were key to the result coupled with the silky distribution of Josh Clark at 10. Reeds had having difficulties all game long holding the Gravesend pack when they were rumbling forward, they conceded another catch and drive try from a forward rumble before Reeds backs began to get quality possession to launch their own attacks. Out wide they fielded Jonathan Levitt, a big strong winger with serious wheels when he got some possession, he was a real handful, he collected two well finished tries during the afternoon and forced the defence out wide to contain his attacks which gave opportunities in the midfield. But there was an intense forward battle going on, close to Reeds line, where they were having problems containing the Gravesend rolling mauls, they conceded a further two tries from that weapon before Reeds came back in that last quarter. It was Marcus Clark Reeds young winger with the dazzling footwork that scored the penultimate try to put Reeds back in with a shout of taking the win having been eight points adrift at 27 – 35 prior to that point, but that that still left the visitors with a one-point lead with the clock in the red zone. Step up Joe Moriarty, to finish off a very well worked back line move that must have broken the hearts of the visitors who had been so close to collecting the winning points.

Finally, a special mention goes to Michael Wasko for his ten minute cameo performance at the end of the game on his return from a serious injury sustained earlier in the season.

Young Charles Collyer earned the Match of the Man Award with his display of total commitment against a battle-hardened town side.

Man of the Match - Charles Collyer

Man of the Match – Charles Collyer

Team: Harry Ring / George Corner / Jakob Howe / Herbie Finn (Capt) / Lewis Jones / Chuggs Wallis / Charles Collyer / Alex Corner (Vice Capt) / Ollie Tynedale / Josh Clark / Nick Brown / Joe Moriarty / Billy Maddock / Marcus Clark / Jack Jesty / John Levitt / Michael Wasko / Lewis Falmouth.

Next week Reeds Weybridge are away to Sidcup (please note M25 closures)

GS 07860 394687

March 9th 2024