Reeds forward play lays foundation for the Win


Founded in 1870, Sutton RFC are one of the oldest clubs in the RFU, the addition of ‘Epsom’ to the club’s name came in 1971, with their last visit to Reeds being over forty years ago in a Cup game, before league rugby existed. For many years Sutton have been playing their rugby in higher leagues than Reeds, and 3 seasons ago were playing in National 2 but were relegated from level 5 last season by the narrowest of margins and have been going through a rebuilding phase. As a result, the pundits were divided on who would prevail on the day.

Melissa Wright from the London Society of Referees was in charge of affairs, her firm and decisive style was a crucial element in the control of a game that featured some ferocious exchanges from two well drilled sides. On occasions, Reeds, have been slow out of the blocks in the first half not this time, Reeds were up the hill, and they launched a series of attacks into the Sutton defensive wall, gaps appeared and it was skipper Herbie Finn who broke through the defence and fed Cameron Goodwin the scoring pass to dot down out wide. Jack Jesty the No 10 slotted the conversion and Reeds had seven points on the board. The visitors fielded a pack of aggressive forwards seasoned with experience with prop Will Loyd making his 100th appearance, they set up camp in the Reeds 22 and battered away at the Reeds line as the first half wore on. There was some heroic defensive work from the Reeds pack but Sutton buried the ball in a well-set rolling maul which rumbled over the line with Tom Hegarty claiming the try to make it 7-5. During the second quarter Sutton were increasingly getting into their stride, taking advantage of the slope and beginning to turn the screw with some nice quick tempo back play but too often their runners were isolated with support players getting to their man too late to prevent Reeds securing turnovers or penalties. Perhaps Reeds second try was a defining moment, Sutton were exiting their own half without undue pressure from the Reeds defence, however, a midfield bungle saw the ball bounce fortuitously for Reeds, Jack Jesty pounced on the bobbling ball, made good ground, and offloaded to Rhys Day who was under the sticks for a seven pointer.

Reeds were on top by a nine-point margin at the change round with the slope in their favour. In the formal passages of play, they were besting their opponents winning their own ball from the lineouts, spoiling Sutton’s line out, and having the best of the action in the tight scrums where their young front row increasing took the game to Sutton. More points were inevitable and they extended their lead when Jack Jesty banged over a long-range penalty to make it 17 – 5. Sutton were initiating plenty of attacks from their own half but were also inaccurate at key points especially in Reeds 22. At times Reeds were at full stretch containing the quick Sutton back division, but they couldn’t break down that solid Reeds defence with the midfield partnership of Josh Clark and Billy Maddock to the fore. Reeds had a touch more urgency about their play, especially from Will Scott the 1st XV debutant back row forward, he was a real handful for the Sutton defence and it was that work that earned him his Man of the Match Award. Joe Wastie, Reeds ultra-competitive back row man, collected try number three from sustained Reeds pressure within Sutton’s 22 courtesy of a nice oblique running line from 6 meters out. That put Reeds nineteen points in front at 24 – 5. There was just a suggestion that the visitors might mount a late revival when Matt Whittaker the prolific No 8 – and Sutton’s best player on the day – touched down for a score that was converted by Sutton skipper Freddie Bunting but an injury time penalty from Jack Jesty ensured Reeds win.

Man of the Match Will Scott

Man of the Match Will Scott

Squad: Lennon Day, Rhys Day, Riley Milsom, Will Scott, Herbie Finn(capt), Cameron Goodwin, Lewis Jones, Joe Wastie, Michael Wasko, Ollie Palmer, Jack Jesty, Kitan Ojo, Josh Clark, Billy Maddock, Jack Grady, Bradley Robbins, Pete Daverns.

Congratulations to all 3 1st XV league debutants: Will Scott, Jack Grady & Bradley Robbins all of whom made key contributions.

Next week Reeds are away to Old Colfeians and we expect another tough encounter.

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