Reeds Make it 3 from 3

REEDS WEYBRIDGE 39 OLD REIGATIANS 33

A packed touchline of spectators witnessed a thrilling encounter between these two evenly matched sides, with the result in doubt till the final whistle. Reigatians have recruited some young international seven’s players for their back division who have the ability to run the ball from all over the park, Reeds top priority was to deny the visitors clean possession. They did that by way of their tight scrummage power and some prolific work from skipper Herbie Finn and Cameron Goodwin in the lineout aided in no small measure by some erratic throwing from the OR’s hooker. Reeds had lost the toss and were down the slope in the first half, with that advantage, they knew they had to get some early points on the board. They set up camp in the Reigatians 22 from the kick off and fired the ball out wide, fly half Josh Clark, a meticulous play maker, came back into the attack and was in by the posts for a seven-pointer following a break through the middle from Cameroon Godwin and a good off-load to Clark. The lead didn’t last for long, two loose kicks from Reeds allowed the Reigatian back division to attack down the slope, they were stopped five metres out, but big Joe Gregson the lock forward rumbled his way over to level the scores. Both sides were running the ball around the park and it was the work of young Ethan Taylor who finished off a Reeds attack with a score just by the flag, debutant Pete Cole, who can play anywhere in the backs banged over the long-range conversion. Reeds knew they had to deny the visitors clean possession, especially from the loose rucks and mauls, and it was here that hooker George Corner is such a competitor who adds another dimension to the pack, denying those deadly Reigatian backs the space to operate was crucial. It was Reeds who lengthened their lead when they won possession from a lineout, the ball was spun out wide and it was Lewis Jones who was on the end of the movement and squeezed in by the flag. It was a score line that didn’t quite reflect the run of play, out in the midfield Billy Maddock and Jonny Rogers were at full stretch defending against the powerful Reigatian backs who were shunting the ball around at serious pace with Maddock spicing up proceedings with some typical crash ball running. Late in the first half, Reeds drove play deep into Reigatian territory, the visitors defence fanned out to cover the expected thrust down the touchline, scrum half Palmer, who has as good an eye for a gap as anyone, darted through to touch down unopposed under the sticks. It was a nineteen-point lead, but that didn’t last for too long, Reigatians struck back just moments before the break, a loose ruck ten metres out and flanker Ollie Brooks closed that lead down to fourteen points. Half time 26 – 12.

Reeds now had to defend the slope and the smart money on the touchline was on a Reigatian comeback, and within minutes of the restart, a forward catch and drive rumble over the line, and the visitors had narrowed the lead to seven points. Perhaps it was one of those days when the fates were with Reeds, a loose defensive pass, deep in Reeds half ended up with Ethan Taylor, he has outstanding pace and footwork that leaves defenders grasping at thin air, he saw a gap appear on the blindside and was away up-field, young Marcus Clark the winger was on the outside to take the scoring pass and for Pete Cole to knock over the long-distance conversion, an unlikely score from a most unpromising situation – 33 – 19. Fifteen minutes to go and Reigatians were back in Reeds half laying siege to the Reeds line – 8 Sam Foreman the No 8 crashed over and Reeds were hanging on to a seven-point lead against a Reigatian side that scented a late win. However, Pete Cole, Reeds clinical place kicker slotted a tricky penalty to make it 36 – 26, but back came the visitors with another converted try, following a fumble just outside the Reeds 22 which let Max Coyle in for a score. Three points now separated the sides. Late on Pete Cole banged over another penalty leading to some nervous moments, with the core at 39 – 33. Reeds were still winning plenty of possession and saw the chance to put the result out of sight, in those circumstances, you are a hero or a villain, Reeds ran the ball, lost possession and that led to Reigatians in possession, camped on Reeds line, knowing that a converted try would give them the game Worse still, Reeds lost 2 men to the bin and conceded a penalty five metres out with a scrum to defend. That defensive performance was probably the key point of the game, as Reeds made a mess of the Reigate scrum forcing the scrum half to go down the blind side, and in a battle royal, scrum half Palmer wrestled his opposite number into touch and with the clock on red, it was Reeds day.

Man of the Match was Peter Cole, who gave such an ice cool kicking display together with his exceptional contribution in attack and defence.

Man of the Match – Debutant Peter Cole

Team sheet

Josh Brown, George Corner, Kerran Beavis, Rhys Day, Shannon Fullen, Herbie Finn (capt), Cameron Goodwin, Lewis Jones, Michael Wasko, Alex Corner, Ollie Palmer, Josh Clark, Peter Cole, Billy Maddock, Ethan Taylor, Marcus Clark, Josh Foreman, Ross Stratton (travelling reserve).

Next week Reeds travel away to Farnham, their magnificent facilities are home to their most famous son – Jonny Wilkinson

George 07860 394687