Reeds Feast on Wild Geese

PAPA JOHN’S COMMUNITY CUP – ROUND 1

LONDON IRISH WILD GEESE 24 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 54

Reeds Weybridge finished the league season last weekend with a narrow and disappointing, last-minute loss to Sutton and Epsom. Nigel Connell, Reeds Director of rugby was keen to move on from that setback and the team had an intense mid-week training session to prepare for a challenging afternoon from a strong but limited London Irish side. Reeds responded in some style collecting eight tries, seven of them converted, with an all-court display of expansive open rugby. Reeds have some serious pace in the backs, and it was Marcus Clark the winger who initiated the first score, he broke away from the cover following a miss pass in the back line, stepped his opposite number, and touched down by the flag. Pete Cole collected the extras and subsequently converted seven of the eight tries in a masterful kicking display which helped him secure a joint man of the match award. Early on it was the Irish who had the best of the territory with much of the play in Reeds 22, and that needed some stern defensive work in the red zone. It was in those confrontational circumstances that young Lennan Day earned his joint Man of the Match award, his high work rate, ball carrying ability together with his show stopping, awesome tackles were key elements in Reeds subsequent victory. It was when Reeds fired the ball out wide that they looked dangerous, and it was Billy Maddock, in the centre, who is such an abrasive ball carrier who collected Reeds second tr when the Irish defence just could not hold his powerful midfield thrust that took him under the sticks for a seven pointer from 35 yards out. Reeds were two tries up with barely a quarter of the game gone. Next, Alex Corner, Reeds No 8, led the breakout from within Reeds half, that was the source of try No 3 and Pete Cole joined the attack and was over the whitewash for try No 3, and Reeds had twenty-one points on the board. Irish had fielded a big set of forwards and they spent long periods in Reeds in Reeds half, a forward rumble from ten metres out finally brought them their first converted try of the day. However, it was a dry day, the strong breeze was a factor, but the conditions were ideal for Reeds to run the ball from all parts,  with Josh Clark also pulling the strings at 12 creating several tries from smart offloads and with skipper Herbie Finn producing another talismanic performance, winning so much possession from the lineouts and being a powerhouse in the rucks. Out wide, the backs were cruising around like sleek blue roadsters and Irish consistently struggled to contain the situation. Prolonged pressure in the Irish red zone stretched the Irish defence to breaking point and it was Marcus Clark who broke through from way out for try No 4 and just before the break there was the try of the day, no doubt the two quickest players on the park were Reeds Pete Cole, the full back, and Matt Stevenson the winger, they exchanged passes in the midfield and it was Stevenson in under the posts. Half time, and at 35 -7 Reeds had five tries on the board to just one from the Irish.

The next score was key to maintaining momentum and, from Reeds perspective, killing the game off but it was Irish who scored next just after the restart when from close range they fired the ball out wide and Reeds couldn’t shut down the attack. But soon afterwards Jack Jesty, at ten, burst through the defence and offloaded to Billy Maddock to allow him to score for the second time and land a seven pointer. Irish responded with a five-metre rumble from the line out for try No 3 but Pete Cole was in action again when he joined the attack from deep to score under the posts following a fizzing flat pass from Clark and Reeds were in to an unassailable lead. Late on Irish came back with another strong lineout move for their fourth try of the day but it was Charles Collyer, the fiery young flanker who collected try No 8 for Reeds, following a drive to the line from close range, and with that a second-round place in the competition.

Joint Man of the Match award went to Lennan Day and Pete Cole

Joint Man of the Match award went to Lennan Day and Pete Cole

Team: Lennan Day / Harry Ring / Herbie Finn (Capt) / Lewis Jones / George Corner / Chuggs Wallis / Alex Corner (Vice Captain) / Ollie Palmer / Jack Jesty / Marcus Clark / Billy Maddock / Josh Clark / Matt Stevenson / Pete Cole.

Reeds into Round 2 of the competition will face Medway, at Home next Saturday April 20th. This will be a demanding fixture for Reeds who lost both Home and Away games to Medway in the League.

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