Reeds visitors have had a poor start to the season but their narrow loss to a very good Police side just two weeks ago was a warning to Reeds, if they needed it, that G’s, were going to provide stiff opposition.

And that was evident during the first twenty minutes or so when the visitors went into a ten point lead, the first of those tries came from deep within the Guildfordian half, a dropped pass in the midfield allowed centre Matt Wells to outpace the defence for an unconverted try.

Up front Reeds were having real problems from the power of Rob Haggart, the veteran Guildfordian prop forward, it was his work that sent the Reeds scrum back pedalling at a rate of knots, leaving Matt Connell their young scrum half scrambling for some decent possession.

Reeds were in defensive mode within their own 22 and when they had to defend a scrum on the five metre line the result seemed inevitable, the big Guildfordian back row rolling off the back of the scrum but were met with some huge tackles, none better at that than flanker Kerran Beavis, initially Reeds were able to keep their line clear but one more huge shove and Tom Halsey the aggressive Guildfordian No 8 touched down, Reeds ten points adrift had a real game on their hands. They were not getting any possession going forward from the tight scrums, and the lineouts, usually such a good source of ball were not on song either.

However, with twenty five minutes on the clock Reeds struck, a spiralling long distance pass gave winger Chris Stegmann some room out wide, a feint inside wrong footed his opposite number and Stegmann was away down the touchline to score by the flag. Although Reeds, were having a serious battle up front, they were securing sufficient possession to cause the visitors some anxious moments, Reeds have a young fit side and the forwards can run and pass with the best of them and it was those skills that were at the heart of the second Reeds try, Herbie Finn, the big second row broke away in the midfield and finally the ball ended up with Malcolm Harding, he is quick and competitive and not much will stop him five metres out and he was in by the flag, the bonus came from Peter Davidge who converted the try from way out, that put Reeds just two points ahead at the change round, but crucially with the slope in their favour.

That slope together with Reeds fitness began to tell, they were getting enough ball to stretch the Guildfordian defence across the park and back again, gaps appeared and it was Alex Keefe the No 8 who bulldozed his way over for Reeds third try, Pete Davidge didn’t collect the extras but he was successful with a penalty shortly afterwards.

It was Billy Maddock, Reeds skipper who bashed his way over for the bonus points try which put Reeds into a comfortable seventeen point lead but not decisive against Guildfordians who came close to scoring themselves. But when young Stegmann broke away for his second of the day there was no way back for the visitors.

Late on, Stegmann collected his hat trick and the Man of the Match award and the industrious work of lock forward Tony Adams was rewarded when he touched down for Reeds seventh try. It was a decisive win for Reeds although the margin of victory didn’t quite reflect the closeness of the game.

Reeds have a rest from league rugby next weekend, their next fixture is against Croydon away on February 11th.

George Spinks
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