Reeds Down Drybrook in High intensity Cup Final

PAPA JOHNS COMMUNITY CUP FINAL

DINGS CRUSADERS RFC – SHAFTESBURY PARK GROUND, BRISTOL

DRYBROOK RFC 29 REEDS WEYBRIDGE RFC 42

A huge crowd of Reeds Weybridge supporters took the long journey to Bristol to witness an enthralling game of changing fortunes that finished with Reeds fitness, blistering pace, and mental toughness at the heart of their victory. They were up against a formidable West Country side comprised of some battle-hardened forwards who dominated the early proceedings, denying Reeds any possession and more importantly taking up residence in Reeds 22. Quick hands, driving rucks, and recycled possession tied in the Reeds defence, gaps appeared, including through the middle of the breakdown for Drybrook’s first score, and Drybrook had two converted tries on the board within the first ten minutes from their 13 Danny Price and marauding 7 Sam Peaper. Step up Pete Cole Reeds full back, he initiated an attack from deep within Reeds half following a long clearance kick by Drybrook, beat his man, and ensured possession was spun out wide to find young Marcus Clark the high stepping winger, so difficult to nail in full flight, his full on attack from within Reeds half took him around the defence and under the sticks, it was a seven pointer and a clear sign that if Reeds could generate enough possession, their pace out wide would be a serious threat. However, those big West country forwards were still having the best of the territory and giving Reeds a hard time in the tight scrums and occupying the red zone, another rolling maul close to Reeds line and Drybrook had their third converted try on the board right in the corner courtesy of their winger Luke Roberts. Reeds famed ‘’iron dome’’ defence was completely absent during that first 20-minute period and Drybrook were in control with their driving play with Reeds big ball carriers being constantly stopped on the gain-line by some shuddering tackles. However, Reeds, by way of Lewis Jones and skipper Herbie Finn, were securing a stream of quality ball from the lineouts, that allowed Ollie Palmer, such an influential playmaker, to put fly half Jack Jesty into space, he is quick and elusive as well, he broke from deep, Pete Cole was up in support, stepped two men, and Reeds had their second try of the day to get them back in the game at 14 – 21. In the midfield, Billy Maddock with his thunderous ball carrying skills and Josh Clark were putting the Drybrook defence under all sorts of pressure. Quick ball, gave some space for fly half Jesty and he crossed the whitewash for an unconverted try from short range to narrow the gap further to 19 – 21. Just before the break, Drybrook banged over a long-range penalty to extend their lead to 19 – 24, but it was Marcus Clark who secured the ball from within the 22 and ran the length of the field to touch down by the flag, followed by a touchline conversion from Pete Cole that had Reeds, unexpectedly, with a two-point lead at half time at 26 – 24.

After ten minutes or so of the second half, Pete Cole slotted another penalty to give them some breathing space, or so they thought, at 29 – 24, but those big West country forwards who were giving Reeds all sorts of difficulties in the tight and the loose as well. A huge forward drive from five metres out, and Drybrook had another unconverted try on the board again courtesy of their 7 Peaper. 29 points apiece, and the game was in the balance. At this point Drybrook had scored all of their points from forward based plays with in the twenty- two whereas Reeds backline had run in a number of scores from up to 60 meters out. It was a real contrast in styles.

It was Pete Cole with a nerveless penalty kicking display with two long distance penalties that put Reeds just six points in front over the course of the next ten minutes at 35 – 29. However, it was in that last quarter with Reeds defending that narrow lead that they earned their victory, they were reduced to thirteen men twice after three yellows, with those big Drybrook forwards just metres from the line knowing that a converted try would get them right back in the game. Sometimes, it is defence that can win a game, and this was one of those times, in an uncompromising display from Reeds, not only did they prevent the score, but they won a crucial turnover and cleared the danger up field, it was a morale sapping moment for Drybrook. In those last five minutes it was Reeds backs who secured the win, the ball was fired out wide to Joe Moriarty just inside the 22 following another length of the field move, there was no way he was going to be stopped from that distance and Reeds were in for another seven pointer and a two-score lead at 42 – 29.

Man of the Match award went to Pete Cole for his counter attacking play and clinical goal kicking display of twenty-two points.

Man of the Match Peter Cole

Man of the Match Peter Cole

Team: Harry Ring / Rhys Day / Lennan Day / Lewis Jones / Herbie Finn (Capt) / Chuggs Wallis / Will Relfe / Alex Corner (Vice Capt) / Ollie Palmer / Jack Jesty / Marcus Clark / Josh Clark / Billy Maddock / Matt Stevenson / Peter Cole. Bench: Jakob Howe, Charles Collyer, Lewis Falworth, Michael Wasko, Joe Moriarty, Kitan Ojo, Nick Bown

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