Reeds Winning Run Ended by Horsham in a Feisty but Thrilling Encounter
REEDS WEYBRIDGE 15 HORSHAM 19
Reeds had conceded fifty points to Horsham in the early season away fixture when they fielded a depleted side, but they had come away with a bonus point for scoring four tries and they sensed that the visitors would be vulnerable to the pace and guile that Reeds have in their back division. It was a top of the table clash which was always likely to be a feisty affair and it certainly turned out that way with a flurry of 7 yellow cards and a couple of reds for an off the ball scuffle as well – albeit the referee’s assessor felt the card count should have been more with both sides playing with high levels of intensity and testosterone.
Reeds were down the slope in the first half, locked into a ferocious series of exchanges against a wily Horsham pack who were intent on slowing the ball down to prevent Reeds unleashing their powerful back division. That said Reeds enjoyed plenty of territory but couldn’t make the advantage count with stand-out winger for this season, Marcus Clark, pulling up short when in pole position to run onto a cheeky grubber kick to secure Reeds first score. Alas it wasn’t to be and the visitors put increasing levels of pressure on Reeds resulting in several penalties, lost territory, and two yellows. Horsham took advantage of the situation, forced a five-metre lineout, and drove over the line for an unsighted score that resulted in a penalty try. Josh Clark, Reeds kicker, narrowed the deficit with a long-range penalty having missed an earlier kick, and just before half time Horsham attacked from the 22 meters out, the winger was checked but just managed to chip the ball back on the inside through the cover. Nothing can bounce quite like a rugby ball, and it was a Horsham player who won the chase for the try line and collected another seven-pointer. At the change round, Reeds were eleven points adrift at 14 – 3 albeit there seemed very little in it between the two sides and they had the slope to face as well. Up front Josh Brown and young Lennan Day had the edge in the tight scrums, they were winning tidy ball, in the lineouts Reeds welcomed the return of their skipper Herbie Finn, back from injury, such a presence in the forward exchanges, never taking a backward step. However, getting that ball out of those midfield battles was not easy with the visitors, managing to slow the possession and organise the defensive wall. It was the visitors who extended their lead with a bustling run from the Horsham winger scoring by the flag (despite what seemed to many on the touchline like a tackle that had put him in touch) but the conversion went wide. 19 – 3 and Reeds, having just three points on the board and a sixteen-point deficit, were staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat. Could Reeds respond- in previous seasons possibly not but this side stood up to be counted and dominated the rest of the game from that point onwards. Following a huge collective effort, it was their front row forward, Josh Brown, such a dominant presence in the loose who brought Reeds right back into the game, he drove over the line from a well worked catch hand drive, Josh Clark collected the extras and Reeds were within ten points of the visitors – game on! In that last quarter, Reeds enjoyed huge amounts of pressure in the Horsham red zone with 16 consecutive penalties awarded to them but through a combination of great defence by the visitors and Reeds profligacy at key moments they kept the scoreboard silent. Jonathan Levett, starting his first game from the off for the 1st XV on the wing, had been anxious to get his hands on the ball throughout the game, he had his chance late on with 10 minutes to go courtesy of a long pass near on the 22. He was full on, all power, pace and purpose and no one was going to stop him in full flight and he touched down for a five pointer to make it 15 – 19 with minutes to go. Reeds now knew that a try would give them the game and had their tails up – Reeds better fitness was clear in those last ten minutes albeit they also they enjoyed superiority in player numbers too. They kept the ball through multiple phases and drove up the park but a dropped pass and it was Horsham who gleefully hacked the ball out of play for their win with Reeds collecting a losing bonus point. A proper game befitting of a game played between first and second in the league.
Josh Clark, the No 13 was Reeds Man of the Match, brave and committed in defence, a brilliant reader of the game, a silky balanced runner and the focal point of Reeds attacks especially out wide.
Despite their efforts, Reeds must lick their wounds and get back to winning ways at KCS if they are to remain in the hunt for second place.
Man of the Match Josh Clark
Team – Josh Brown / Rhys Day / Lennan Day / Kerran Beavis / Simon Fozard / Herbie Finn (capt) / Michael Wasko / Cameron Goodwin / George Corner /Luke Edwards / Lewis Jones / Jonathan Lack / Jonathan Rogers / Josh Clark / Billy Maddock / Marcus Clark / Jonathan Levett / Ethan Taylor
Reeds Weybridge 2nds 27 KCS Old Boys 2nds 12
Next week – League game – Reeds Weybridge are away to KCS Old Boys
George 07860 394687