‘’Total’’ Performance By Reeds Topples Ironsides

BATTERSEA IRONSIDES 28 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 38

A trip to South London to face a side that had stuck fifty plus points on Farnham the previous week and thirty plus points on Reigatians was going to be a challenging afternoon for Reeds young side. The fact that Reeds had limited territory, two separate yellow cards, but came away with the win and trousered a bonus point for scoring more than four tries is a testament to the team spirit and camaraderie that prevails in the side. That spirit coupled with their resolute defence and incisive attacking back play saw them come out on top. Reeds were in defensive mode from the start, those big Ironside forwards crashing into the thin blue line, and that pressure was rewarded when the ball was driven up through a series of close quarter drives and Ironsides had seven points on the board. But Reeds have some talented ball handlers together with some serious pace in the backs that was soon on display. Reeds backs instigated their first try from deep in their own half, young Ethan Taylor is elusive and has a keen eye for a gap in defence, he received the ball deep in Reeds 22 from a scrum and darted away from his opposite number to feed Marcus Clark the winger who broke up field and then chipped ahead for Peter Cole, the fly half, to gather the bouncing ball and go over in the corner to tie the scores following a touchline conversion. Ironsides were having the best of the territory deep in Reeds 22, it was in that ferocious battle for possession that Lennan Day the front row forward earned his Man of the Match Award, his outstanding attacking carries and defensive work in a series of rucks and mauls close to the line, not only prevented scores but won turnover ball as well. There wasn’t too much between the two sides up front, although later in the game the physical power of Josh Brown, Lennan, Day and Kerran Beavis supported by Rhys Day at hooker put the Ironside pack into reverse gear. Reeds next score once again came courtesy of a play in their 22 with Peter Cole intelligently chipping the onrushing defence and regathering the ball for Alex Corner to take the offload, carry intelligently up-field, and link play with Joes Moriarty receiving the ball and attracting the Ironsides defence on one side of the pitch with a typical bullocking run stopped just short of the line before the ball was rapidly recycled along the back line via quick hands with classy footwork from young Marcus Clark enabling him to stride over the try line on the opposite side to put Reeds into a 7 point lead. That seven-point lead that Reeds enjoyed didn’t last for too long – a rumbling maul from 10 meters out following a cheap penalty and ensuing line out moved ever closer to the try line, Reeds collapsed the maul and conceded a penalty try and the first yellow.  Ironsides were now enjoying more of the ball and decided that they would tie the Reeds defence into the ruck and release their backs to finish the job, but the line speed and tackling from those predatory Reeds backs prompted a loose pass, young Clark the winger intercepted it and ran the length of the field to touch down under the sticks. Reeds were in front once again with a seven-point lead. There was a strong breeze favouring Ironsides in that first half and just on the break they hoisted the ball deep into Reeds half, Ironsides won the ball from the lineout, retained possession and rumbled over via strong pick and go play. Three tries converted tries apiece at the change round, – at  21 all – but Reeds now had that the breeze in their favour and were beginning to cause some damage in the tight scrums. But it was Ironsides who took the lead shortly after the break after another set of forward based pick and goes saw them crash over and put them seven points in front. But Reeds have some real power out wide, Joe Moriarty is quick and a thunderous ball carrier as well, he was putting some sizeable dents in the Ironside defence that allowed Reeds long periods in Ironside territory. Alex Corner, the Reeds skipper and No 8 took a pass from a quickly recycled ruck and managed to breach the defence in mid-fild to touch down with Peter Cole levelling the scores at 28 – 28. It was Peter Cole who then put Reeds into the lead, they were awarded a penalty, way on the 10-meter line, it was a huge distance kick that cleared the bar with room to spare that put Reeds in front by just three points. In those last ten minutes Reeds fitness was a crucial factor, their work up front was giving them possession going forward the Ironsides defence battled away but it was Lewis Jones, Reeds flanker, who after a series of pick and goes by Reeds forwards drove over and under the sticks from a few meters out. Cole slotted the conversion and there was no way back for Ironsides. Final score 28 – 38 to Reeds against a good side who will trouble many teams at home over the rest of the season.

Man of the Match Lennan Day
Man of the Match Lennan Day

Squad

Josh Brown / Rhys Day / Lennan Day / Kerran Beavis / Cameron Goodwin / Simon Fozard / Michael Wasko / Lewis Jones / Ross Stratton / Alex Corner (capt) / Jonathan Lack /Peter Cole / Josh Clark / Joe Moriarty / Billy Maddock / Jonny Rogers / Marcus Clark / Ethan Taylor.

December 4th 2022