Battersea have shown a rich vein of form recently beating run away league leaders Horsham two weeks ago and have only lost one other Home fixture against Reeds this season. With ORs holding on to 4th place from Battersea in fifth with a game in hand it was important to take the win on the road if the league places were not going to be swapped.
Battersea started the better of the two teams and put the Reigate team under early pressure. The visitors defence held the home team out but the pressure was rewarded with an early penalty that the Ironside’s kicker had no problem with giving them an early 3 point lead.
Reigatian started to play themselves into the game and showed impressive ball retention as they attacked through multiple phases. To be fair the Ironsides defensive line held firm and it wasn’t until a line out 10 meters out Dan Grant secured the ball and the pack started driving towards the line. Ciaran Nestor was on the back of the maul and managed to ground the ball once the pack had pushed him over the try line. Lucas Overtoom added the extra 2 points. 3-7.
Again Reigatian seemed to dictate the pace of the game and with most of the possession and territory but couldn’t quite breakdown the defence. Battersea’s home pitch isn’t the biggest in the league and the lack of width didn’t compliment the open style of play that OR’s have played this season. However field position remained in the Battersea’s half and when another attacking Line Out was won the pack had no hesitation to set up a driving maul of another Grant line out win. They looked to be held just short when Toby Collister who had been ill all week and only cleared to play Friday took the ball on again from short range and there was no stopping the tight head prop. Overtoom added the conversion 3-14.
With OR’s starting to look in control Jack Baart received a yellow card and with a man down for ten minutes it was a case of trying to hold on until half time. Unfortunately with 4 minutes left of the half the Home Team made the extra man count and scored a converted try to bring the score to 10-14.
Baart returned to play at the beginning of the second half and despite this being a very physical contest the score remained unchanged until the 16th minute when Ironsides scored their second try to move ahead and make the score 17-14.
For a Club that has made a trademark of their back scoring great tries after a number of phases for the third time in one fixture an attacking lineout was held in and a maul formed. As the pack drove towards the line some of the backs joined to keep the momentum. Once again Nestor touched the ball down for his second try and more importantly put the Reigate team back in front 17-19.
With twenty minutes left on the clock the Home team kept pushing for that one score to reclaim the lead. Reigatian’s defence held firm with heavy traffic on the bench with Jude Clark replacing Nestor. Ben Holder replacing the injured Lucas Overtoom, Tom Bestwick came on for Seb Courtney – Walker who was injured probably making the biggest tackle of the game! And finally Ciaran Nestor returned to the field of play when Toby Collister illness finally got the better of him with cramp setting in!
Battersea kept pushing trying to run the ball from anywhere on the pitch until a wild pass was flung out. The ball went loose and Finn Coyle was the first to collect it and once he was up to speed he wasn’t going to be caught. So the victory and try scoring bonus point settled by this seasons top try scorer. Normal service resumed! With Overtoom off the field Max Coyle stepped up and kicked the conversion to give a final score of 17-26. Fourth straight win for the Reigate team with two more league fixtures before the new Papa John Community Cup starts.
1. Reilly Franklin-Talbot, 2.Ciaran Nestor, 3. Toby Collister, 4. Dan Jones, 5. Dan Grant, 6. Sam Foreman, 7. Jack Baart, 8. Seb Courtney – Walker, 9. Alex Skinner, 10. Lucas Overtoom, 11. Harrison Mitchell, 12. Max Coyle, 13. Gareth Stephens, 14. Finn Coyle, 15. Tom Woodford 16. Jude Clark, 17. Tom Bestwick, 18. Ben Holder