Reeds Outgunned by Old A’s


This was Past Players lunch day down at Old Alleynians Dulwich based rugby union clubhouse. Having dined well, the members regrouped on the touchlines and roared on their heroes to a decisive win against Reeds. Early on it was Reeds who spent long periods in Alleynian territory, they attacked through their forwards and spun the ball wide but they couldn’t break down the home side defence despite a series of penalties and drives / runs that got them tantalisingly close to the try line. In fact, it was Old Alleynians defence who set the bar for the rest of the game in that opening period with their defensive press driving Reeds back some 30 meters in what was a very physical opening to the match and in truth Reeds one up runners got little change from Alleynians for the rest of the match.  Reeds normally rock-solid defence was also found wanting and Alleynians were able to pierce it consistently with players uncharacteristically falling off tackles. Old Alleynians have a big set of mobile forwards and it was their work at the breakdowns, quickly turning defence into attack that was the source of their first try, Alleynians set up camp in Reeds red zone, quick hands gave fly half Josh Winduss some space and he was over the line, Henry Dewing slotted the conversion soon followed by a penalty and Reeds were ten points adrift. Reeds No 5, Cameron Goodwin and flanker Joe Wastie were winning plenty of quality ball from the lineout and scrum possession was rock solid at this point in the match. Ollie Palmer, the No 9 and the heartbeat of the side was firing out long range passes to young Jack Jesty the No 10, Billy Maddock was battering away in the midfield but Reeds failed to create problems for the Alleynian back division in midfield for large parts of the afternoon, with their defence holding firm.

It was the home side who extended their lead when they spun the ball wide and Tom Vogle the winger crossed the line by the flag for an unconverted try. Just on the break, Reeds Jack Jesty, the No 10 banged over a huge penalty shot from way out to collect their first points of the day, the home side were twelve points in front at 15 – 3, but now Reeds had that Alleynian slope in their favour.

The next score would be key but it was Alleynians who were on a roll, determined and encouraged by the partisan crowd, they launched an attack deep in Reeds 22, Winduss the fly half chipped over Reeds defensive wall, the ball bounced kindly and it was Rory Simpson the flanker who touched down. Another close-range penalty shot from Jesty narrowed the Alleynian lead to 20 – 6 and there was just the chance that Reeds could get back in the game or at least secure a losing bonus point. However, that big Alleynian pack rumbled over from a lineout in the red zone to collect their bonus point try of the day and they were into a twenty-one-point lead. George Corner, Reeds hooker, who is so influential in the loose rucks and mauls, finally cracked the Alleynian defence and touched down for a converted try under the sticks to make it 27 -13. One more score for Reeds and they would have secured a losing bonus point, however it was Alleynians big No 8, Tom Grahamslaw, who had a splendid game who crashed over for a seven pointer in the last moments that removed that possibility.

No Man of the Mtach was awarded on what was a sobering day for all concerned. Reeds block of games in November now look crucial if they are to get close to competing for the league title.

Team-: Lennon Day / Rhys Day / Will Scott / Kerran Beavis / Cameron Goodwin / Michael Wasko / Joe Wastie / Alex Corner / Chuggs Wallis / George Corner / Jack Jesty / Nick Brown / Dan Veale / Matt Stevenson / Billy Maddock / Jack Grady /Brad Robbins

Reeds next league game is a home game on November 4th against Medway, their first visit to Whiteley Village. Early season Medway put thirty-one points on Alleynians in their away game.

October 22nd 2023

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