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Old Reigatian RFC

1st XV v Farnham – 11th March, 2023, Match Report

On Saturday Old Reigatian 1st XV hosted Farnham RFC. With this being the last league game of the season OR’s were looking to turn the tables on a 18 -12 defeat in the first game of the season.

Farnham have had a great season. With Horsham out on their own at the top of the league Farnham were the best of the rest sitting second ahead Reeds with Reigatian fourth.

Reigatian were still recovering from the gam with Guildford last Saturday when many players had picked up injuries. At training on Thursday there was eight of the starting XV carrying injuries and not sure if they would be able to take part on Saturday.

Great relief that the eight players looked to be fit however during training Thursday Scrum Half Sam Turner’s hamstring proved problematic and he had to withdraw and with normal scrum half Alex Skinner away for the weekend Reigatian turned to 17 year old Matt Wickham. Matt has played Harlequins U18 and definitely a star of the future but a senior debut in the 1st XV was certainly going to be a physical challenge.

Saturday morning Gareth Stephens failed a fitness test so Ben Holder promoted from the bench and Patrick White bought into the Squad. Lastly during the Warm Up Toby Collister’s ankle broke down and he was unable to run so he stepped down to bench in an emergency and Alfie Goater went from making his debut to starting at Tight Head Prop. Alfie currently at Uni in Cardiff had travelled back Thursday so he could train and play Saturday so a great effort from him.

With these last minute chances it was going to require a massive effort from all 18 players to compete with the Team two places above them in the League.

As expected the first half was a nail biting affair with both teams swapping scores. It was Farnham that scored first building momentum with many phases and taking advantage of the indiscipline of the home sides forwards they scored out wide and were unsuccessful with the kick 0-5. But 20 minutes Fin Coyle appeared off his Wing in the midfield following an OR’s lineout to run straight through untouched to level the scores. With another unsuccessful kick 5-5.

Coyle family showing their class with this time Max beating his defender then setting off to the try line Lucas Overtoom added the extras 12-5. Once again the team now losing picked up the tempo and Farnham showed why they are second in the league with a useful break and a score from inside their own half again the kick was good 12 all at Half Time.

Second half started as the first had finished with the Home forwards applying pressure and camped on the Farnham try line after a number of attempts to cross the line Jack Baart managed to force his way over, Overtoom added the two points and after five minutes of the second half the Reigate team were leading 19-12.

The lads in Green and Blue looked to be playing the better Rugby and looked dangerous with the ball in hand but again with an attack building a loose pass was given and a Farnham back intercepted and ran in the try, with the kick missed OR’s held the lead 19-17.

Twelve minutes into the Half Fin Coyle made a break down the left wing with a well executed kick ahead he won the foot race to score a great individual try, conversion was good 26-17. Vital that the home side get the next score to build a cushion. But again Farnham came back with a well taken try in the corner 26-22. Lucas Overtoom’s kicking making the difference. However Lucas Overtoom is currently the 1st XV top points scorer with an excellent season kicking however he is hadn’t scored a try this season so when Ben Holder managed to put him through a gap with a great timed pass Lucas was over the moon to score his first try of the season. Overtoom made his try worth seven points and Reigatian were starting to pull away. 33-22.

After 25 minutes of the second half Max Coyle just stepped his opposite number stepped on the gas and was going running in a try from a good 70 metres out as Reigatian relaxed and started enjoying their Rugby. Again Max Coyle had the ball and saw there was no Farnham players defending deep and a perfectly weighted kick through for Fullback Tom Woodford to run on to and score OR’s seventh try of the match 45-27.

Outstanding debut from Alfie Goater who scrummaged well and he was extremely busy around the park. Matt Wickham was outstanding and showed what a talent he is. We were all confident about his skill set and how he would perform going forward but for a 17 year old playing his first adult game the physical contact area was always going to be where the challenge would be. Farnham had one replacement who was massive and carried with intent straight at young Matt. Without any hesitation Matt went as low as possible bring down a player that could easily have been twice his weight. Both players have a really bright future. Alfie is new to the Club but Matt I showing the young talent that is coming through the youth and mini sections at the Club.

On Sunday more of that talent was on display as the Colts took on Farnham Colts in the Semi final of the Quins Cup with the Winners getting to play on the Stoop home of Harlequins. A great game won by Farnham with a kick in the final minutes. But a brave performances and all players should take great pride in such a strong performance. A 14-15 loss could easily have been a win. All sports can sometimes be very cruel sometimes but hopefully they will pick themselves up and dust them down and come back stronger next season and get to the final.

1. Reilly Franklin-Talbot, 2.Ciaran Nestor, 3. Alfie Goater, 4. Dan Jones, 5. Tom Bestwick, 6. Sam Foreman, 7. Jack Baart, 8. Oli Brooks, 9. Matt Wickham, 10. Ben Holder, 11. Harrison Mitchell, 12. Lucas Overtoom, 13. Max Coyle, 14. Finn Coyle, 15. Tom Woodford 16. Toby Collister, 17. Alex King, 18. Patrick White

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