However a slow start from OR’s gave Ironsides an early try which proved to be critical with Battersea running the ball from the kick off and finding gaps in Reigatian early defence and with only 2 minutes on the clock Battersea were on the scoreboard with a 5-0 lead.
Reigatian’s reacted well and their forwards showed a dominance in the scrum that was gave the Reigate team front foot ball all afternoon. With 6 minutes played a mighty scrum drove Battersea defensive line backwards and the ball was released quickly for Gareth Stephens to show his class and run through the retreating defenders to score close to the posts. Lucas Overtoom added the extras and OR’s were in the lead 5-7.
Reigatian’s will look back at a couple of chances that were not converted in the 1st half and it wasn’t until the 20th minute off another dominate scrum that Max Coyle found a gap and used his pace to stretch the lead to 5-12 and Overtoom added the extras 5-14.
With Reigatian’s set piece performing so well there was a lapse in concentration and Ironsides managed to take a scrum against the head the speedy Battersea scrum half collected the ball and with the defence disorganised managed to capitalise and score a good solo try and close the gap to 12-14. Just on the stroke of Half Time Reigatian were awarded a Penalty which Overtoom slotted to give the visitors a 12-17 at the end of the first half.
The second half started similar to the first with Battersea scoring in the first few minutes which for the first time for 40 minutes they were in front 19-17. The score remained the same until 30 minutes into the second half. When Battersea gave away a Penalty in front of the posts which Overtoom made no mistake with and again OR’s lead 19-20.
With ten minutes left the Ironsides pressed again and despite some brave defence Battersea forced their way over the try line and again to make the score 26-20 with one score still separating the Teams. The Reigate team pushed again and were awarded a scrum just short of the line. With a dominate scrum all afternoon it seemed a good scoring opportunity. The Scrum won the put in and with the Ball at Jack Baart’s feet the scrum slowly but surely moved forward and as the try line approached Baart gathered the ball and appeared to touch down on the line. The Ref immediately awarded the try from 2 meters away. Surely this had booked a place in the final, only for the touch judge to call the Ref over from the touchline line approximately 35 meters away after some discussion the try was disallowed and the score remained 26-20.
From the restart with seconds on the clock Battersea sent an attack down their right wing with a long pass from their outside centre to Winger OR’s top try scorer Finn Coyle had a decision of staying on the Winger to prevent a try or go for an interception as he jumper for the ball he missed it by centimetres the pass made it to their Winger and he jogged in untouched. Final score 33-20.
Player Awards 2022-23
Such a disappointing end to the season which has to be considered a great success to finish 4th in their first season at level 6 which a great achievement and to reach the Semi Final in a South of England Cup competition shows the strength of this squad. Last Saturday the Players had their end of season dinner. With Young Prop Ethan Monk being Awarded Clubman of the Year. Not only is Ethan at training twice a week with the Seniors and has represented the 1st XV 12 times this season but is also to be found every Sunday either coaching the u18 Girl section the U15 boys and the U6s.A well deserved recognition for the 18 year old.
Dan Grant was awarded the Most Improved Player of the Year who has established himself as an integral part of the 1st XV this season Captain of the Line Outs and his all round play has improved massively and he has represented the 1st XV 17 times this season. Mentions went to Jonny Long still only 17 but amassed 12 1st XV appearances this season and has a massive future of 1st XV Rugby, Ethan Monk as mentioned above to play 1st in the Front Row at 18 years of age and make it into Surrey U20s team with another two seasons ahead of him is a great achievement and like Jonny will be a part of the 1st XV for many years ahead. Lastly1st XV Captain Reilly Franklin-Talbot who agreed to change position at the start of this season. Not having a burning ambition to play Front Row but as the season has gone on his mastered his art and last two games of the season the OR’s pack have completed dominated which Reilly’s development as a Prop forward contributed massively too.
Lastly Player of the year went to Lucas Overtoom who played in 25 games this season the Club’s top points scorer. He has been Vice Captain and generally had an outstanding season. Obviously after such a good season the was a closely contested award with Ciaran Nestor, Finn Coyle, Tom Woodford, Max Coyle and Gareth Stephens all contributing massively as did every player who pulled on the Green and Blue shirt. Special mention to 2nd XV Most Improved player Rob Cheal and 2nd XV player of the year Eddie Hutton.
1. Reilly Franklin-Talbot ©, 2. Ciaran Nestor, 3. Toby Collister, 4. Joe Gregson, 5. Dan Jones, 6. Charlie Jackman, 7.Sam Foreman, 8. Jack Baart 9. Matt Wickham, 10. Lucas Overtoom, 11. Finn Coyle, 12. Max Coyle, 13. Gareth Stephens 14. Harrison Mitchell, 15. Tom Woodford, 16. Seb Courtney – Walker, 17. Ethan Monk, 18. Dan Grant, 19, Jonny Long, 20, Ed Forsyth, 21, Ben Holder, 22, Rob Williamson.