SURREY LEAGUE THREE
REEDS WEYBRIDGE 7pts OLD HAILEYBURIANS 25pts
This top of the table clash was always going to be a humdinger of a game, especially as Reeds had lost the early season away fixture and they needed the three points from this fixture to secure their promotion to Surrey 2, but they came up short against a highly organised and aggressive Haileyburian outfit that had the best of the exchanges for most of the afternoon.
Reeds cause wasn’t helped by two injuries that happened in the first couple of minutes, flanker Kerran Beavis, such a formidable presence in the loose exchanges was stretchered off with a serious leg injury and Chris Stegmann, the flying winger was sidelined with a head wound.
Reeds had their fair share of possession in the lineouts and they certainly were in charge of the tight scrums where Ben Lewis and Davin Samuel Reeds prop forwards shunted the Haileyburian pack around and Samuel added another dimension with his ferocious work in the rucks and mauls that earned him the Man of the Match award.
But it was the quick fire action from Haileyburians at the breakdowns that undid Reeds with the ball being recycled out wide to the Haileyburian runners who were a constant threat. It was a supreme defensive effort from Reeds that kept their line secure during that first quarter but following a series of five metre lineouts and rolling mauls it was inevitable that they would concede penalties, two of them put Haileyburians six points to the good.
It was Reeds in defensive mode for most of the time, when they did break out they were met with some thumping tackles that shut down Reeds options to free off the pace of their wingers Malcolm Harding, and Joe Moriarty and their opportunities to attack usually came from broken play. The visitors stretched their lead after they had encamped on Reeds line with the maul getting ever closer and finally rumbled over the line.
If Reeds could have kept that score line to the change round, with the hill in their favour and the wind as well during the second half they might have turned the game around. But that second phase possession secured by Haileyburians and spun out to a direct running set of backs stretched the Reeds cover to breaking point two quick tries, one out wide and the other under the sticks left Reeds with a half time deficit of twenty five points, Reeds have come back from worse than that, but their chances against this Haileyburian side were limited.
But Reeds gave it a real go despite being under pressure they clawed back seven points after winger, Joe Moriarty, with plenty to do, was put away out wide and Johnny Rogers banged the conversion over. Reeds had the better of the exchanges in the last quarter where their fitness began to tell, Malcolm Harding came close with a race to a touch down and some thundering runs from skipper Billy Maddock were checked within a couple of metres.
But the day belonged to Haileyburians who produced a winning performance but matched by an epic defensive display from Reeds that ensured the visitors did not collect that extra four try bonus point.
Next week another vital League game for Reeds against Old Johnians at Whiteley Village