Match Report – Weybridge Vandals vs Reeds Weybridge RFC – 23-03-19
SURREY LEAGUE ONE
Reeds do the Double on Vandals to Remain the Top Club in Weybridge & Surrey 1.
Weybridge Vandals 19pts REEDS WEYBRIDGE 23pts
Both sides played out a hard fought game earlier in the season at Whiteley Village and with Vandals playing in front of a large and vocal home crowd, local bragging rights on the line, and second place in the league pretty much secured with a home win; Reeds were expecting a tough examination from the home side especially early on.
That was exactly how the script played out – after a cagey start with midfield probes from both sides, and flanker Wooldridge prominent in the tackle count, Vandals suddenly sparked into life with a good passing move, involving several players, down the flank of the pitch leading to their right winger taking a scoring pass to give them a 5-0 lead early on.
Reeds then hit back to turn the scoreboard in their favour with two converted penalties from fly-half Pete Davidge to take a 6-5 lead after 15 minutes courtesy of some good carries from big lock Herbie Finn and some good passing moves which stressed the Vandals defence, the second penalty coming from a good box kick and matching chase to win a penalty turnover.
At this point Reeds seemed to be enjoying more of the ball and were growing into the game after a sluggish start but any thoughts that Vandals were going to go down without a fight were rudely interrupted with the home side coming back into the game via a couple of good driving mauls from line outs, the ensuing penalties taking Vandals deep into the Reeds 22. Several close quarter drives later, and despite some resilient defence from Reeds which saw Wooldridge and Davidge succumb to injury, the home side crashed over for their second try to take a 12-6 lead with half time approaching. The ‘see saw’ nature of the first half then drew to a close with Reeds converting another penalty, courtesy of replacement 10 Jonny Rogers, to make the half time score 12-9.
The messages at half time were simple – Reeds needed to get back to the standard of play shown in recent games by making our tackles count, pressing Vandals relentlessly with good line speed, and adding more guile in the back line plays.
The second half started with ominously with Vandals winning but missing a kickable penalty. That sparked Reeds into life with both centres, Ollie Savill and skipper Billy Maddock, driving the ball up and into contact ably supported by a number of the forward pack including replacement prop Kerran Beavis, lock Finn, number 8 Michael Wasco, and pack leader Josh Brown who all made good ground sucking in the defence. With the away side now beginning to punch holes in the Vandals defence more space was being created out wide.
Rogers at 10 was starting to orchestrate the play and winger Joe Moriarty began to see more ball. It was two prominent carries from him, such a hard man to put down, that directly lead to Reeds first and only try courtesy of slick hands from Maddock to Savill who gave a delayed pass to elusive winger Dan Veale to allow him to drive over the line taking their full back with him. 12-17 to Reeds.
Not to be outdone Vandals then hit back courtesy of some sloppy play from Reeds which saw their elusive full-back run back an aimless kick and neatly offload at to their outside centre to powerfully glide through the Reeds defence on a short line and score under the posts. Game on – 19-17 to Vandals with 60 minutes gone. Once again it was Reeds turn to take the game to Vandals with some neat plays marshalled by the half back pairing of scrum half Ollie Palmer and Rogers. In that vital period of the game, Reeds all court play secured them two penalties both of which were expertly converted to give them a 4 point lead with less than 10 minute left to play.
Vandals now threw the kitchen sink at Reeds in an effort to re-take the lead but Reeds defence was up to the task and a knock on from Vandals ended the game with the home side within touching distance of the Reeds try line. Queue celebrations from what coach Connell described as a ‘’proper game of rugby’’!
Man of the Match: Big lock Herbie Finn who went at Vandals from the start with a series of great carries and defensive hits.
Next Week: Reeds will face another tough challenge at home from Old Walcountians who will be sure to bring their A game in an attempt to secure second spot in the league.
Other Results: In other results the 2nd XV out-scored Old Emanuel by 6 tries to 3 winning 35-17 making it another clean sweep weekend for the Club.