Reeds Stun Beckenham with Second Half Come Back

BECKENHAM 17 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 19

There was a huge partisan crowd at Beckenham last Saturday, to welcome Reeds first visit to one of the oldest clubs in the RFU. They are in the bottom half of the table but have lost many of their league games by a few points, one of those, by just four points to Reeds in the early home game.

The Beckenham supporters witnessed a pulsating encounter that saw their heroes race into a seventeen-point lead by the change round, only to see what appeared to be a winning position turned to defeat by a storming comeback from Reeds in the second half. Although Beckenham had fielded a big set of forwards it was Reeds who had the best of the action in the tight with Ollie Tack, Reeds U22 skipper making his second appearance of the season in the front five, in the lineout it was Lewis Jones the lock forward who collected the Man of the Match Award, he had a huge impact on the game with his physicality, turn over stats, and ability in open play. He was ably supported by young Ross Stratton, starting for the 1st XV for the first time, who tackled everything that moved.  But it was some Reeds indiscipline especially during the first 20 minutes, with penalties to follow, together with some loose passes and handling errors that denied Reeds momentum and allowed Beckenham to set up camp, deep in Reeds territory. A five-metre lineout, Beckenham retained possession, the inevitable rumbling maul from those big forwards and Reeds were seven points adrift. Out wide Reeds looked good, young Kitan Ojo the winger has blistering pace along with fancy footwork and power as well, he made some big dents in the opposition defence but Reeds just couldn’t break through the final tackles or the final pass just wouldn’t go to hand. Instead, it was Beckenham, roared on by a packed clubhouse support, who extended their lead, this time it was a slick passing movement that saw Ollie Cross, the full back, come hammering into the line and touch down for a seven pointer. 14 – 0. During the second quarter Reeds began to press more but their inability to go through the phases and look after the ball meant that a number of promising positions were squandered. To cap it all, just on the break, Reeds strayed offside under the posts, a straightforward penalty shot and Reeds were seventeen points adrift – it was a situation, that was going to need all Reeds resilience and resolve to turn the game around.

In the backs, Matt Stevenson came on to make an accomplished debut with some clever running lines and a great turnover at a key point in the game.

They did have a gentle slope and a breeze in their favour and early in that second half, Beckenham lost a man to the bin, it proved to be decisive, the Beckenham scrum was shunted back, Alex Corner, the predatory No 8 collected and drove his way over the line for a five pointer. Reeds were back on the horse. You rarely see much positive action from a restart, but on this occasion and only moments later, Ollie Tack fielded the ball just inside the touchline, he set off downfield and was stopped just 5 meters short, the ball was fired out wide, young Kitan Ojo set off on one of his devastating runs and found the arch finisher, Ethan Taylor in support, a couple of sidesteps and he was over the line but cleverly ran around to touch under the sticks and make it a seven pointer. 17 – 12 to Beckenham. Perhaps Reeds superb fitness was a factor in that last quarter, certainly the Beckenham defence was stretched on numerous occasions and it was their turn to suffer the wrath of the referee, Duncan Butler-Wheelhouse, who displaying a firm control of a high intensity game gave a string of penalties to Reeds – helped in no small measure by skipper Herbie Finn who maintained a positive dialogue with the referee throughout the game.

Reeds third try came from good field position from one of those penalties and a clever pull back 5 meters out saw Reeds skipper Herbie Finn break through the cover defence on an angled line for a try under the sticks and a two-point lead at 17 – 19. A penalty could give the game to Beckenham but Reeds managed to keep play in the Beckenham half for most of the remaining time to complete a stunning second half comeback.

Reeds will need all their resilience and team spirit for the visit of Farnham to Whiteley Village next Saturday, the visitors are second in the league and beat Reeds in the away game early season.

Man of the Match: Lewis Jones

Man of the Match: Lewis Jones

Debutant Matt Stevenson

Debutant Matt Stevenson

First 1st starting debut Ross Stratton

First 1st starting debut Ross Stratton

Team: Josh Brown / Rhys Day / Ollie Tack / Herbie Finn (capt) / Cameron Goodwin / Michael Wasko / Alex Corner / Lewis Jones / Ross Stratton / George Corner / Matt Connell / Peter Cole / Kitan Ojo / Josh Clark / Billy Maddock / Ethan Taylor / Matt Stevenson / Jonny Rogers

GS Feb 19th 23

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