On Saturday Old Reigaitian 1st XV to Kent to play Gravesend 1st XV.
With third playing fourth in the league it was always going to be a tight battle but this proved another thrilling match played with commitment and despite the awful weather recently Gravesend should be congratulated on the great condition the pitch was in.
However Reigatian struggled to come to terms with the strong winds losing their first three line outs from the third conceded Line Out the Gravesend blind side winger broke through the visitors defensive line strong tackle from Tom Woodford the home side won quick ball with a cross field kick two Gravesend players were unmarked out wide for an easy catch and place down over the line. Five minutes into the game and the home side lead 5-0.
With the game finely balanced Old Reigatian will fill they left a few scoring chances go begging and it wasn’t until the 25 minute that once again one of Gravesend’s strong runners made a clean break to put them into OR’s half with some clever offloads they kept momentum and the flyhalf tried another Crossfield kick. This time the Reigate team’s defence had it covered and it went into touch. The strong winds again made winning your own lineout ball difficult and again Gravesend were in a strong attacking position. With their centre picking his way through the defence to score the home team’s second try. This try was converted making it 12-0.
With Gravesend penalised on the half way line Lucas Overtoom put in a great kick using the wind to put OR’s close to the try line. The lineout was won ball moved width with Max Coyle going close then it came back to find Tom Woodford with enough space to use his pace to score in the corner. A great kick from the touchline from Overtoom closed the gap to 12-7 just before half time.
At the start of the second half the Home team had a scrum penalty inside the Reigatian half with a kick to touch Gravesend set up a driving maul which appeared to have been stopped but a change of angle got the momentum going again and the home team scored their third try of the afternoon 17-7.
After 24 minutes of the second half Reigatian were starting to play with more pace and accuracy and it was creating opportunities. With the play about 15 minutes out from the home teams try line a solid scrum lead to a break down the blind side with Alex Skinner and Woodford. Play then came open to Captain Reilly Franklin-Talbot who took with him a number of defenders the ball was released quickly to Dan Jones hitting the line at pace and taking two defenders over with him and plus Overtoom’s kick there was only 3 points in it with Gravesend 17-14 ahead.
Still playing with great tempo the Reigate team moved the ball through about ten phases before Gravesend gave away a penalty and Skinner played the ball quickly instead of going for the kick at goal. With good hands across the pitch Tom Woodford looked to cut inside when the last defender tackled him the ball found Max Coyle a few meters out who dived in to take the lead for the first time that afternoon. Again Overtoom slotting the lick from the touchline 17-21.
Gravesend seem to find themselves in a good attacking position when returning a speculative kick OR’s gave away an unnecessary forward pass their powerful 8 picked from the base of the scrum and broke the first tackle making good ground. Gravesend were awarded an attacking lineout close to the OR’s line when the driving maul was stopped an offload from the floor saw a Gravesend player go in unopposed under the posts. The home side now back in the lead 24-21.
This seemed to take the wind out of the Reigatian players and Gravesend used the strong wind to get themselves within striking distance again and this time a driving maul from the lineout went all the way and sadly Reigatian even missed out on a losing bonus point. Final score 29-21.
Disappointing but many positives to take to the next home game against Beckenham at Park Lane next Saturday.
1. Reilly Franklin-Talbot, 2.Ciaran Nestor, 3. Toby Collister, 4. Dan Grant, 5. Dan Jones, 6. Sam Foreman, 7. Jude Clark, 8. Oli Brooks, 9. Alex Skinner, 10. Ben Holder, 11. Joe Wills, 12. Lucas Overtoom, 13. Max Coyle, 14. Sam Turner, 15. Tom Woodford 16. Ethan Monk, 17. Jonny Long, 18. Harrison Mitchell