LONDON SOUTH WEST 2
Reeds Take the Honours in a Hard-Fought Derby Win Away from Home
OLD TIFFINIANS 16 REEDS WEYBRIDGE 21
There was a huge crowd down at Tiffinians Thames Ditton headquarters to watch Reeds first visit to the ground for many years, both clubs were promoted last year and in the one game that was played Reeds won by just one point. On a narrow pitch it was clear opportunities would be limited and defences on top especially as from the opening exchanges it seemed that both sides were equally matched.
Reeds probably had the best of the territory but there were some long-range clearance kicks and thunderous tackles which shut down Reeds probing attacks. It was Tiffs however who had the first points on the board when Dougramaji banged over a 40-metre penalty, however it was a short-lived lead with Reeds on the attack deep in Tiffs territory, a finely timed chip over the rush defence put outside centre through and a kind bounce allowed Tudor Forbes to stride in unopposed, fly half Pete Davidge didn’t collect the extras but shortly afterwards he was successful with a penalty, following more pressure from Reeds with several last ditch covering tackles being made by Tiffinians to hold a tenuous five-point lead. Tiffs have a sizeable front row and there wasn’t too much between the sides, in the lineouts, perhaps Reeds had the better of it with Kerschbaumer and Finn producing plenty of ball, that led to a series of attacks, but that Tiffinian defence shut down any chances out wide. Just on the break, Dougramaji banged over another long-range penalty to leave the game finely poised 8-6 at the change round.
In tight games, fitness becomes a factor in the second half, maybe Reeds had the edge in that department as they were in charge both in terms of territory and probing missions. Pete Davidge extended the narrow lead with a penalty but it was Tudor Forbes second try that was a morale sapping event, Tiffs had mounted a promising attack from half way, a slightly loose pass allowed Forbes to intercept and race for the line with the defence baying in pursuit, it was a seven pointer and a twoscore lead at 18-6. Tiffs knew that they had to run everything, a misplaced clearance kick gave them the opportunity with their centre carrying the ball back on a mazy jinking run that was just stopped short of the try line. A few phases later, the Tiffinians pack drove play to the try line and Noah, the big prop forward bashed his way over, Dougramaji slotted the conversion and Reeds were clinging on to a five-point lead at 18-13. Reeds knew they had to take any penalty chances on offer to get back to a two-score position, it came from near the half way line. Fly half Pete Davidge hoisted a huge siege gun attempt that bounced on the cross bar and dropped over, it was that kick that took the score to 21-13 and effectively won the game. The clock was against Tiffs, they knew they would have to score twice to win, that didn’t seem likely and with a penalty on offer late on they decided to slot the penalty and collect the losing bonus point to make it 21-16.
Reeds’ winger Dan Veale was Reeds Man of the Match for his outstanding performance in both attack and defence.
For spectators and players alike, this was a great game of rugby, with nothing between the two sides and it was splendidly refereed by Henry Lowis, with the result in doubt till the last five minutes.
Sept 26th 2021