Match Report – Old Mid Whitgiftians vs Reeds Weybridge RFC – 23-02-19
RFU Junior Vase – Divisional Semi Final
Old Mid Whitgiftians 12, Reeds Weybridge RFC 37
This was a huge game for both clubs with a place in the Divisional final at stake, the smart money was on Reeds to take the spoils as Reeds had already beaten Midwives in their two previous Surrey One league games.
However, Cup rugby has the potential for upset and only the most confident of Reeds supporters could view their team’s challenge without some real doubt especially following Midwives decision to play the game on a smaller pitch to negate Reeds wide game.
The occasion was further hyped up by the fact that the RFU had chosen to appoint their own referee and touch judges, all miked up, to control the game, it was a good decision, Mike Lamb, the experienced referee had a splendid game, unobtrusive but firm throughout. Reeds, down the slope in the first half, took an early lead with a penalty from fly half Pete Davidge, but it didn’t last for too long.
Young Harry Wilson, the Midwives fly half, danced through a couple of tackles and was in under the sticks for a seven pointer, the Midwives team were on fire, their supporters cheers could have been heard in Croydon and Reeds were nervous.
But a cold hard look at the early match statistics showed that Reeds had a much better territorial percentage, the scrums with Josh Brown and Richard Philip turning on the power were going their way and the Reeds backs looked very dangerous in possession.
A couple of sweeping attacks had been shut down with some last ditch ferocious tackles but young Chris Stegmann the winger was fed the ball thirty metre out, he is a big man on the move and takes some stopping, and he outpaced the cover to touch down by the flag.
Reeds, one point in front extended their lead with another Pete Davidge penalty but it wasn’t until the close of the first half that they managed to once again break down that Midwives defence. Reeds had been awarded a penalty close to the Midwives line, scrum half Ollie Palmer tried to burrow his way over but was shunted back, he made the ball available, quick hands saw full back Jonny Rogers up in attack cruise over for a score out wide. It was a crucial score, just before the change round.
But now, Midwives had the slope and they were intent on shoving Reeds around with some effective loose mauls and some thumping charges into the midfield. But having conceded that early try Reeds were on red alert to a repeat performance and straight from the kick-off the ball was expertly fielded by prop Richard Phillip and the ball worked up the field courtesy of more quick hands with flanker Dom Wooldridge on hand to score a converted try under the sticks.
Those two scores either side of the change-over meant Midwives had to overcome an eighteen point deficit and that didn’t look likely.
Pete Davidge Reeds fly half was orchestrating the back division, he was the lynch pin of the Reeds attacks, unravelling the Midwives defence with some penetrating passes.
Midwives were in defensive mode as Reeds mounted a series of attacks, it was prop forward Davin Samuel who had come on the park at the change round who put the result beyond doubt, he had work to do to get over the line, but he is determined and aggressive and showed some deft footwork to step his way past two defenders and touch down for Davidge to collect the extras.
Reeds had brought on their young winger James Botterill in the last quarter, he is seriously quick and elusive as well and he collected the fifth try of the day when Chris Stegmann delivered a killer offload to put the youngster in with just enough space to touch down by the flag.
Late on Midwives came back with a score of their own when big prop forward Nathan Bacon barrelled his way over from short distance. Nigel Connell awarded the Man of the Match Award to Pete Davidge whose tactical play and direction of play brought such fluidity to Reeds back division.
Reeds will now face Hitchin, Herts, in the Divisional Final on March 16th, venue to be decided.
Man of the Match: Pete Davidge
Next week Reeds are back to league rugby with Haileyburians, second in the league, coming to Reeds ground at Whiteley Village.
George Spinks 07860 394687.