Slow start costs Reeds

TOTTONIANS 18 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 9

Reeds Weybridge plans to win the league title outright faced a major setback when they lost last Saturday’s crucial fixture against Tottonians, their closest rivals. Reeds made a somewhat tentative start, whereas, Tottonians cheered on by a huge partisan crowd and with a stiff breeze in their favour were on fire and they kept Reeds pinned down in their own 22 for the first quarter. Reeds were locked into defence mode knocking down a big set of forwards who ground their way forward getting ever closer to the try line. Reeds conceded penalties and fly half Ethan Riley collected three points quickly followed by a storming run from Scott Rogers the open side flanker who crossed for the first try of the day. Reeds just couldn’t get their hands on the ball in those early exchanges, they were up against a powerful set of forwards that stopped Reeds from getting too much possession going forward, Reeds got the ball alright but a solid Tottonian defence out wide shut down Reeds attacks. Pete Davidge Reeds fly half, has so often launched penetrating attacks from the most unpromising situations, but the windy cold conditions certainly curtailed and affected Reeds all court game. During that first half Tottonians certainly had the best of the territory with a series of driving runs that eventually brought more points, this time from fly half Riley who sidestepped his way over for a 15 – 0 lead after 15 minutes. Up front Reeds had a serious battle on their hands, they needed to achieve superiority in that department to unleash their powerful back division, Reeds secured their own possession, but under pressure, they gradually battled their way into Tottonian territory and Pete Davidge banged over a penalty, but just on the stroke of half time, Riley, Totts fly half, collected another three points to maintain the fifteen-point advantage. Half time 18 – 3.

Those elements were in Reeds favour after the change round and Reeds occupied the Tottonian 22 for long periods. Richard Philip, the aggressive front row forward came on as an injury replacement for Kerran Beavis and had some defence busting runs, out on the wing, Joe Moriarty made some big holes in the defence, Reeds came so close, with one forward rumble held up over the line. Reeds occupied Tottonians territory for long periods, inevitably, Totts conceded penalties and Pete Davidge slotted two of them in the tricky conditions to make it 18 – 9. Reeds had enough possession in that last quarter to get them over the line but the Totts defensive line shut down those Reeds efforts and the try that would have put the game within Reeds grasp didn’t come.

Lewis Jones, the flanker was awarded Man of the Match for his outstanding contribution including his defence sapping runs.

Next week, Reeds are away to Twickenham for an early 1pm kick-off and with it the chance to get back to winning ways.

GS March 6th 2022