SURREY LEAGUE THREE
REEDS WEYBRIDGE 34pts OLD RUTLISHIANS 21pts
In the early season away fixture, Reeds had won fairly convincingly, but since the New Year Ruts have had a series of good results including a recent fifty point demolition of Haileyburians, with that results backdrop Reeds knew they were in for a stern examination.
Reeds down the hill in the first half mounted several attacks which finally resulted in skipper Billy Maddock crashing over in the corner, that try wasn’t converted but fly half Pete Davidge banged over two long range penalties to give Reeds an eleven point lead. But it was a lead that didn’t quite reflect the run of play.
Ruts had some gifted runners on the park and they were a constant threat, none better than full back Noah Ferdinand, he is really quick and he collected Ruts first points with his chip over the defence that beat the defence to the line for a converted try, Ruts were back in the game.
However up front, Reeds had the best of it and that restricted Ruts possession and in the lineouts young Simon Fozard and Herbie Finn were rock solid on their own ball. That quality ball enabled Reeds to occupy the Ruts 22, one or two chances went begging against a determined Ruts defence and it wasn’t until late on that flanker Kerran Beavis hammered his way over from the back of a rolling maul to put Reeds eleven points to the good at the change round. But now Reeds had to face the hill and Ruts knew they had the runners to make the best of it, but in the intensity of that third quarter Ruts discipline let them down and Pete Davidge extended the lead with two crucial penalties.
Ruts ran everything in the last quarter and when winger Henry Peuble went dancing down the touchline to wrong foot the defence for a converted try quickly followed by Harry Keohane crashing over under the sticks, six points separated the two sides, a converted try would win it and Ruts sensed they could. There was a battle royal in the midfield Reeds knew that a missed tackle could allow the free running Ruts backs into the open spaces but Reeds skipper Billy Maddock led the defensive effort charge and it was his inspirational performance in that department that earned him the man of the Match award.
In the event it was the quick thinking from Alex Corner Reeds No 8 that secured the victory in the last five minutes, he stole away from the back of a loose maul twenty metres out, it looked as if the defence had him covered but he is such a strong and elusive runner that he managed to crash over the line with the defenders still hanging on. It was three tries each at the finish but those vital penalties proved to be decisive.
Reeds have two title deciders coming up; the first is against the Met Police, away on March 25th with a home game against Haileyburians on April 1st.