Gutsy Gosport despatched by Reeds


This was the first time that Gosport have been to Reeds attractive Whiteley Village ground and it isn’t a visit they will want to remember. A glance at the statistics gave a fairly clear indication of the likely outcome, they showed that Gosport have won just a couple of games this season having conceded a bucket load of points whereas Reeds are riding high, unbeaten, at the top of the table. That said it was clear that the visitors had not come just to be rolled over but when the first scrum of the afternoon saw Gosport shunted backwards at a rate of knots it was a clear indicator that it was going to be a tricky afternoon for them and that was with Reeds going up the slope in the first half. That dominance in the set pieces allowed Reeds to mount a series of penetrating attacks, marshalled by scrum half Palmer, his swift passes to fly half Davidge unleashed a potent back division with some serious pace that Gosport found difficult to contain. The opening score came within two minutes of the start, centre Lewis Chance instigated the attack as he burst through the midfield, fired the ball out wide and it was fly half Pete Davidge who outpaced the cover to touch down. It was a lead that didn’t last too long, a couple of passes went down, Gosport snapped up the possession and via some good interplay it was flanker Red Blackstock who crashed through the defence to level the scores. Reeds have earned a reputation for having a set of backs that can run the ball around from all parts of the park, but they now have a set of forwards that can compete in the formal passages of play and the loose events as well. Simon Woollatt, Reeds lock forward was at the epicentre of the afternoon performance and his ball winning ability and dynamism around the field earned him the Man of the Match Award, combine his efforts with the turnover expertise of Will Ambidge the back row man and it had Gosport in all sorts of trouble. The try of the afternoon was initiated and finished by winger Rhys Lewis, he collected a high ball on his own ten metre line, the defence fanned out to shut down the danger, but Lewis has such pace and balance along with a devastating side step that he left the cover grasping at thin air as he shot past them en route to the try line. Reeds attacked from all parts of the park, however, numerous handling errors allowed the visitors to come back into the game with a second try under the sticks and were a source of frustration for the home side. But at the change round Reeds had five tries in the bag and the slope in their favour together with a suspicion that Reeds looked the fitter side. Although it was one way traffic after the interval the visitors made it difficult for Reeds with some solid tackling that disrupted the attacks and that led to handling mistakes. But with Alex Corner, Reeds athletic No 8, launching moves from a set piece that was shunting the Gosport men backwards, points had to come and that second half produced another six tries for Reeds without reply. Not Reeds best performance of the season by some way but then you can’t argue with 71 points. Aidan Price from the Liverpool Society was the guest referee for the afternoon and he made a splendid job of it, his calm and decisive contribution ensured the game was enjoyed by players and spectators alike. 

Man of the Match Simon Woollatt

Next week Reeds face a resurgent Warlingham side that haven’t lost at home this season and recently defeated the successful Tiffinans side – that game promises to be a cracker.

George Spinks

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