Saturday Old Reigaitians 1st XV hosted 6th in the table Old Colfeians. Last season Colfs were promoted from London 2 SE as Champions and other than a shaky start had won their four games and a 1 point defeat the week before that so not a side to take lightly.
ORs took to the field wearing their Train for Ukraine kit, A great initiative started by Reigatian’s chair of Mini’s Tom Brading. The whole day was to raise funds for Ukrainian Kids that have become refugees in the UK to help them join and particate in sports clubs. The Match shirts were to be auctioned after the game.
The Visitors got into the game quickly and after two minutes were in front with an early penalty. In fact OCs had the lion’s share of the ball and territory and in the 23rd minute had another penalty to make the score 0-6.
Last season’s Colts Captain Ethan Mink who has made a great impact the last two weeks took a knock to his head on the half-hour forcing the pack to be rearranged and allowing Oly Guy to make his 1st XV debut in the back row.
This was closely followed by another serious blow with the home side finding some patterns of play Gareth Stephens set off on one of his trademark powerful runs and looked to be clear and over the try line when he was called back for leading with his forearm and shown a yellow card.
Reigatian’s managed to keep field position and were awarded a penalty to half the gap to 3-6 and then three minutes later another OR’s penalty and Lucas Overtoom again did the honours to tie the game 6-6.
Colfeian’s restarted the game and Reigatian failed to collect the kick with the visitors in possession play moved quickly into OR’s half and the Visitors scored and took a slender 6-11 lead into Half Time.
Second Half was nine minutes old when again Stephens took the ball into contact with about three defenders on him he used all his footwork and strength to appear the far side of the contact area and place the ball down for OR’s first try of the day. Once again game was tied 11-11.
At the point Sam Turner was replaced in the centre for Ben Holder. Reigatian seem to have the run of the game at this period with OCs big forwards very powerful in the close-quarter exchanges but lacked the mobility of the home side. With Reigatian’s pushing towards the try line they battered their way across with Prop forward Toby Collister scoring a ell earned try. Converted by Overtoom 18-11 with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Again OR’s were camped in OC’s half when a loose pass was delivered straight into the Colfeians’s fastest player who set off towards the OR’s try line Finn Coyle bravely gave chase but could’t catch him over 70 meters for once again the scoreline to be tied 18-18.
The home teams head didn’t drop and fought their way back into the visitors half the ball moving through the phases and finally, Finn Coyle gets the ball with a couple of defenders to beat. With great footwork and power Coyle scored in the corner, to far for Overtoom to get the extra two points 23-18 scored in the 38th minute.
One last push from Colfeians surely time would run out after a number of scrum penalties ORs Captain Reilly Franklin-Talbot received a yellow card reducing the game to uncontested scrums probably removing an advantage Colfs had enjoyed all afternoon!
OR’s just couldn’t get out of their 22 with some heroic defence but finally Colfs scored in the corner to even the scores up for the fourth time 23-23 the kick to win the game was missed and the final whistle was blown. Colfs celebrated like they had won and Reigatian were left to feel that one had slipped through their fingers.
Next week away at Dartfordians. Busy week training!
1.E Monk, 2. C. Nestor 3. T Collister, 4. Joe Gregson, 5. Reilly Franklin-Talbot © 6. Sam Foreman 7. Oli Brooks 8. D. Grant, 9. Alex Skinner 10. L Overtoom, 11. F Coyle 12. G Stephens 13, S Turner 14. H Mitchell 15. T Woodford 16. O Guy 17. B Holder 18. H Serjeant