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Battersea Ironsides v Old Reigatian 1st XV, Match Report

Battersea Ironsides 25 v Old Reigatian 1st XV 19

Old Reigatian 1st XV travelled into London to play league leaders Battersea Ironsides. With only two points separating the sides this was always going to be a closely fought game and Saturday was not a disappointment.

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With 1st XV regulars Finn Coyle and Vice Captain Lucas Overtoom picking up injuries against Cobham in the last fixture Ben Holder returned to the 1st XV in the pivotal fly half role and new recruit Raz Patel was making his debut at outside centre. Rahul joins ORs from Richmond and looks to add to a backline that already has a number of stand out players in this league.

Battersea clearly had the larger pack and had been dominant in the scrummage earlier in the season. Within three minutes that extra bulk provided enough momentum to carry the home teams pack across the tryline for the opening try from a driving maul from a Line Out. Battersea lead 7-0.

This was a worrying start for the visitors but ORs regrouped and got themselves into the game. The early exchanges in the scrum were even with both packs holing their own, but the Reigate side always looking the more willing to use the ball and play with width and pace on the ball. This finally paid off in the fifteen minute. A move that started with a scrum on Reigatian’s 5 minute line bravly the ball was run Gareth Stephen broke the defensive line and managed to offload to Raz Patel who set the ball up for a quick ruck Max Coyle tried a quick chip ahead and as he chased his own kick he was clearly blocked by the Battersea 7. Pen to OR’s Coyle kicked to the home sides ten meter line. Battersea stole the line out and kicked ahead Aran Courtney Walker fielded the ball and with a strong run he found his forwards in support who gain some hard yards the scrum halkf Alex Skinner released the backs again Holder passed to Patel who broke the gain line to pass to Coyle who gained more ground down the right wing with one defender remaining he passed inside to fuilback Tom Allen who once in full stride was never going to be caught, a fine try by the visitors. With no conversion the home kept the lead 7-5.

The Reigate kept working their way up field and from a lineout kept the ball and were looking dangerous. Off multiple phases Holder saw a gap and no defense behind and tried a little grubber kick through this didn’t come off but the Ref blow for a Penalty at the phase before. Alex Skinner stepped up and made no mistake with this kick and Reigatian are in the lead 7-8.

The score remained the same for the rest of the half. In the second half the score remained unchanged until the 16th minute when a well work try from the home side and once again the lead changed and Battersea lead 14-8. The next score came in the 20th minute with another Skinner penalty closing the gap to 14-11. Six minutes later after a period of sustained pressure Old Reigatian were awarded another Penalty. Captain Reilly Franklin Talbot decided to go for the points with 15 minutes left to try and even the scores. Skinner was once again good with his kick 14-14.

Reigatian backs continued to search for space on the small Battersea Pitch as The Blue & Green’s pushed hard to regain the lead. Then Tom Allen find that mismatch and flew between two Battersea defenders to score hi second of the day and once again Reigatian were in the 14-19. The OR’s coaches thinking there was about five minutes left to play.

The Home team were in no mood to roll over and came straight back at Reigatian and were awarded a Penalty in front of the posts 17-19.

With timeup on most watches the home side were again awarded another Penalty. The Battersea kicker who had been reliable all afternoon seem to pull his kick towards the left hand post. The Home touch judge who was behind the right hand post raised his flag however the Reigatian touch judge kept his flag low as he judged the kick to have sailed wide. With one flag up and one down the Ref decided to award the Penalty to give the home side 20-19 lead. Obviously a disappointing way to lose the lead and this provided a massive momentum change with wind knocked out of Reigatians sails and the Ironside players fired up.

Battersea came straight back at the Reigate team in the 44th minute scored their third try and al but seal the win. Old Reigatian tried to force their way back up the park but time was against then and as the final whistle blew it was a hard fought win for Battersea Ironsides 25-19.

So now Battersea are still top with 68 points, Old Reigatian are second on 63 now after an impressive six wins on the bounce Old Alleynians are third with 62 points. So the league isn’t finished and with OA’s at home next week who will then play Battersea at OA’s there are no doubt a few more twists and turns along the way. Old Reigatian would like to thank everyone that made the effort to attend the game and support Old Reigatian, a massive thank you. Not the result they wanted but no one could fault the teams effort and commitment to the shirt.

Next game at home Old Alleynians RFC 2nd March Kick Off 2:30

1. Ciaran Lee 2. Ciaran Nestor 3. Reilly Franklin Talbot © 4. Jack Baart 5. Dan Grant 6. Sam Foreman © 7. Finlay Lock 8. Ryan Taylor Travers 9. Alex Skinner 10. Ben Holder 11. Max Coyle (VC) 12. Gareth Stephens 13. Raz Patel 14. Aran Courtney Walker 15. Tom Allen
16. Toby Collister 17. Joe Jenner 18. Dom Flynn

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