Reeds stage their own ‘’Great Escape’’ to secure the Win

REEDS WEYBRIDGE 25 OLD TIFFINIANS 24

You can tell a lot about a side by the way they conduct themselves in their pre match warning routines, Tiffinians were at the ground early, bolstered by key players returning from injury, all in matching outfits and practising a series of well-rehearsed drills, they looked sharp, capable and it was clear they meant business, intent on reversing the narrow win that Reeds had secured in the away fixture early season. Indeed, the last 3 fixtures between these two fine sides have been settled by only 8 points.

The visitors came down the slope in the first half with a stiff breeze behind them and for the first 10 minutes it looked like two well drilled sides going at one another with great attacking rugby being shown by both sides. Gradually however Tiffs began to turn the screw and set up camp in Reeds 22, a series of mauls, possession recycled and Tiffs No 8, who was a menace all afternoon with his barrelling runs, broke through for a converted try. Tiffs looked good with the ball in hand, they have some seriously quick backs capable of firing the ball around the park with the speed of the delivery to match but Tiffs second score came from a penalty try as Reeds pack got uncharacteristically shunted back on their 5m line. Tiffs heads were up with a 14-0 lead after twenty minutes. Reeds were having problems containing Tiffs who were on the march, and those difficulties multiplied when Reeds lost 3 men to the sin bin. Being so short against a side running the ball at every opportunity exposed Reeds defence and Tiffs had a third unconverted try on the board courtesy of a well worked catch and drive drill.  0 – 19 Tiffs.

Although Reeds were rocked back by the assault, they do have the leadership and the players who can battle their way out of some tricky situations, step up Alex Corner, Reeds No 8, he was fed the ball close to the touchline on the 22, by winger Moriarty who had taken a long spiralling pass from Pete Davidge  just over the half way line the defence tried to batter him into touch but he survived to cross by the corner flag. It was a critical score coming just before the change around, leaving Reeds fourteen points adrift ay 5 – 19.

Shortly after the restart Reeds were briefly back to full strength and Josh Clark’s neat break almost led to an immediate second score before Joe Moriarty, Reeds powerful winger shimmied his way over for a converted try, having being worked into a great scoring position by a ‘’no-look’’ pass from Jonny Rogers followed by a neat offload from Josh Clark. The deficit was down to seven points and the fight back had started. However, Reeds’ discipline let them down, during the game, it led to a total of six yellow cards and two of them went red, at one stage Reeds only had twelve men on the park with the game going to uncontested scrums. No surprise therefore that Tiffs took full advantage, Reeds cover wasn’t able to cover the danger, and Tiffs collected their fourth bonus point try from a foray by them into Reeds 22 and it was back to a twelve-point deficit at 12 – 24.  Leaving the discipline element to one side, this was Reeds ‘Rorkes Drift’ occasion, and a number of try saving tackles were made in Reeds 22 to deny Tiffs further scores with Ollie Savill being prominent in the rear-guard action and securing a relieving penalty.  Seriously outnumbered, Reeds battled their way into the Tiffs red zone, Billy Maddock was on fire, ten metres out he takes some stopping, and he wasn’t, Pete Davidge slotting the conversion. 19 – 24 and Reeds were five points behind but with the clock against them. Although Reeds were two men down, they set up camp deep in Tiffs territory, Herbie Finn, Reeds skipper and lock forward is just the man for these situations a fiercely defiant ball carrier and a proven performer at the breakdown and Tiffs conceded a penalty trying to regain possession, Reeds No 10 Pete Davidge banged it over, to make the score 22 – 24. Some desperate defence from Tiffs soon led to another penalty, certainly kickable but a pressure moment for Pete Davidge, it was duly despatched straight through the sticks and Reeds were ahead for the first time at 25 – 24. There was only a minute left on the restart, Reeds locked the ball into a rolling maul, Tiffs stepped offside and Reeds had the ball off the park. Reeds inspired fight back from a three try deficit with players in the bin for most of the game is something to remember, but keeping fifteen players on the park is also a priority. Ollie Savill, Reeds centre was awarded the Man of the Match for his on-field ability and outstanding defensive display.

Man of the Match, Centre Ollie Savill

Next weekend sees the 1st XV go to in form Tottonians for what looks like a top-of-the-table title decider.

GS 27 Feb 22 07860 394687