On Saturday Old Reigaitian 1st XV returned to Park Lane to face Reeds Weybridge.
These fixtures have been very close over the last few seasons apart from a convincing win for the Reigate team at Home last season with a 42-21, earlier in the season only one score separated the sides with a 39-33 win for Reeds so another close contest was expected. The game didn’t disappoint!
With many games in the league cancelled it was left to the last minute to confirm the fixture would go ahead with kick off put back five minutes to allow the visitors to discuss if the Park Lane pitch was playable. Fortunately, the match kicked off much to the pleasure of the large crowd boosted by the packed pre match lunch of over 100 supporters.
Reeds got off to a good start and had soon been awarded a Penalty to score the first points 0-3. The Home side then started to find their structure and asked questions of the Reeds defence. With the forwards camped on the Reeds line they tried to force they way over a few times with the defence committed the ball was quickly moved to the right wing to find Oli Brooks free to beat the last defender to score the first try of the afternoon. Lucas Overtoom converted 7-3.
Five minutes later the home side struck again the forwards again putting pressure on the Reeds line and when the ball was released Reeds defensive line pressed hard and Overtoom saw the space behind and put a perfectly weighted kick through for Tom Woodford to run onto to score to just the right hand side of the posts. Overtoom added the conversion 14-3 lead.
Reeds gained some field position but the Reigatian held firm with some committed tackling and good organised defence. At a ruck a penalty against the home side was awarded and Reeds had to settle for three points and close the gap to 14-6.
Half an hour into the game and Reeds attacked down the right wing initial defence was good however some impressive support play for the visitors meant there was someone to pass the ball onto and eventually a try to Reeds under the posts for seven points. 14-13.
Right on the stroke of Half Time OR’s had an attacking Line Out, Tom Bestwick won the ball and then all the forwards and a number of backs drove towards the line with Sam Foreman scoring leaving the kick too wide out for Overtoom meaning the Half Time score 19-13.
The second half started with Reeds a player down due to a Yellow Card. This seemed to galvanise their players who played with more intent and looked like a team who are second in the league. Their left wing set off and an impressive run beating numerous Reigatian defenders finally linking with the other Wing who when tackled find the left wing back in support to score a well deserved try the close the game to a single point again 19-18 to the home team.
Three minutes later what only can be described as sloppy defence from the Home team allowed Reeds to brake through the defence at the edge of a ruck with also a clear run to try line. Sam Turner last weeks hero in defence again provided a try saving tackle only for a Reeds player to be on hand to collect the ball and score moving Reeds into the lead for the first time since the seventh minute. The poor first ten minutes of the second half had turned the game on its head and despite Lucas Overtoom slotting a Penalty for the Home team it was now Reeds holding a single point advantage 22-23.
Reeds came back again and it was their Left Wing who appeared on the Right Wing to brake a few tackles and then passed inside to beat the last defender to give the visitors a 23-30 lead with time running out OR’s came again.
The Home did battle their way up the field and the forwards tried and tried again to get over the try line Toby Collister tried to force his way over and the ball appeared to come out the side of the ruck and Sam Foreman being the quickest to react gathered the ball and fall over the line for his second try of he day. Overtoom added the conversion but again close the game to a single point but time had run out 29-30 to the away team.
Reigatian will look back at the start of the second half when two quick tries were scored as the turning point of this fixture. Old Reigatian have now lost six games this season plus a draw. Four of these six games have been lost by a single score. Next Saturday is a trip to run away leaders of this league Horsham who have only lost one game all season. A 50-36 defeat against Old Reigatian back in Sept. They will be looking to settle that score while the 1st XV will go into the fixture knowing they can beat them. Should be a great game and certainly should be played as Horsham have a 4g artificial pitch.
Team: 1. Reilly Franklin-Talbot © 2.Ciaran Nestor 3. Toby Collister 4. Joe Gregson 5. Tom Bestwick 6. San Foreman 7. Oli Brooks 8. Dan Jones 9. Alex Skinner 10. Lucas Overtoom 11. Finn Coyle 12. Rob Williamson 13. Max Coyle 14. Sam Turner 15. Tom Woodford 16. Ethan Monk 17. Jonny Long 18. Harry Serjeant
Photos kindly supplied by John Baart.