Reeds Suffer Tight Loss to the Table Toppers
BATTERSEA IRONSIDES 19 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 12
This was a top of the table clash between two evenly matched sides, where the final result was in doubt until late on. Unsurprisingly on the small home pitch, defences were on top for large parts of the game. Ironsides however scored the only try of the day and won the game by a seven-point margin, almost the same difference as the early season game which had gone Reeds way. It was Reeds who were in control during the early stages, they certainly had the best of the territory, by way of their tight scrum possession together with a stream of ball from the lineouts, where skipper Herbie Finn, Dom Wood, and No 8 Alex Corner had another outstanding afternoon. But despite that possession Reeds couldn’t break down that solid Ironsides defence and they were adjudged to be held up over the line following sustained pressure from 5 meters – no surprise there, a glance at the table stats show that the Ironsides are only just behind Reeds, with the second-best defensive record in the league.
Early on Reeds, by way of young Peter Cole, the stand in scrum half, exchanged long range penalties with Ironsides kicker Colin Baker. But just on half time, with Reeds leading 9 – 6, Ironsides drove play deep into Reeds red zone, the loose maul rumbled over from five metres and Harry Martin the lock forward touched down, Baker, slotted the conversion from out wide and it was Reeds in deficit by four points at the change round at 9 – 13. Reeds were winning plenty of ball but were inaccurate on the occasions when they got into the red zone and also began to fall foul of the referee who clearly liked the sound of his own voice and frustrated both sides, but especially Reeds, who became ill disciplined and as a result went down to 14 men for two 10-minute spells in the second half. This stretched their cover and attacking potential for a good part of the second half and Reeds back line attack was not its usual flowing self. Billy Maddock the centre, was inevitably stopped on the gain line in contact and Joe Moriarty the strong running winger, all pace and power, was also successfully bottled up for large parts of the game. Tudor Forbes came on to replace speedster Matt Stevenson and produced a tidy cameo-performance bursting through tackles, handing off defenders, and offloading in the tackle but Reeds just couldn’t make the final breakthrough. When Reeds were on the front foot deep in Ironsides territory, they earned a couple of kickable penalties that might have given them points, but they were in charge of the lineout possession and the smart money was on a successful try scoring rumble from five metres out, but again that well drilled Ironsides defence kept the line secure or Reeds coughed up possession. Peter Cole slotted another tricky penalty shot that saw Reeds just one point adrift, at 12 – 13 but in that last quarter Colin Baker the Ironsides kicker was successful with further two penalties following sustained pressure and Reeds needed a converted try to square the game. This was a full-on battle between two sides battling for promotion that led to some ferocious exchanges sadly it didn’t go Reeds way and Battersea probably edged the game and deserved the win.
Riley Milsom Reeds back row forward is such a fiercely defiant carrier of the ball, he earned the Man of the Match award for another all-action performance playing superbly in both the back and front row.
Man of the Match Riley Milsom
Next week, Reeds welcome Old Alleynians to Reeds. Alleynians are fifth in the league, have won their last three games, and were convincing winners against Reeds in the away game early season. It promises to be a tough assignment.
Team: Josh Brown / Rhys Day / Lennon Day / Herbie Finn (capt) / Dom Wood / George Corner / Riley Milsom / Alex Corner (vice capt) / Peter Cole / Josh Clark / Joe Moriarty / Billy Maddock / Matt Stevenson / Nick Brown / Jack Jesty.
Next Saturday, Feb 3rd, Home, Reeds Weybridge v Old Alleynians. Kick off 14:00
GS Jan 28 2023