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Reeds 24 - Woking 5
Reeds have been sitting pretty at the top of Surrey 4 since the beginning of the season, making them the team to beat. With this in mind Woking traveled across to the newly RFU accredited club, and it was clear to see the rugby environment that Reeds have been developing, with three pitches all in use for mini junior rugby, 2nd and 1st XV matches. Undeterred, Woking took to the pitch to play "downhill" in the first half, and opened strongly. The Woking pack showing their dominance in the scrum and battling hard at close quarters.
The opening score of the game fell to captain Mike Aitchison who crossed the line after a beautifully weighted pass from Dan Edwards found him in space. The conversion was pulled agonisingly wide by Andy Hussey, returning from an ankle injury. Woking continued to apply the pressure, but came up short on a number of occasions due to a lack of clinical finishing. One such mistake turning the ball over to the young Reeds backs who scampered off up the hill to score a breakaway try, duly converted.
Having sustained a large amount of pressure, Reeds ventured back into Woking's half for only the second time in the game. Frustratingly for Woking a well drilled Reeds pack shot the ball out a scrum before Woking could get the shove on, and a very nicely worked, albeit forward pass, move from Reeds no. 8 and 9 saw Reeds take the first half to a close at 14-5.
Woking started the second half as brightly as the first, the hill at first not proving to be a hindrance to strong probing runs from Andy Hussey, Gareth Nearn and Tommy Roberts. The scrummaging up hill unfortunately really evened out the two packs, and ball became scrappy. Aitchison opting to kick for touch on a penalty, after camping in Reeds 22 for 10 minutes, frustratingly missed touch and kicked the ball dead. As Reeds relieved the pressure they gallivanted downhill only to be denied by last ditch tackling from Gareth Nearn and Adam Smith, also returning from injury.
The fitness levels of the young Reeds squad began to show through, and some crucial injuries to Gareth Philips, Steve Rhodes and Justin Dougherty forced Woking to make some unwanted changes. John Stedman and Gary Raife coming into the fray off the bench brought some needed fresh legs, but the rest of the Woking squad visibly tired and Reeds pounced to score a late try in the corner after some excellent ruck clearing from their back row. The game closed at 24-5, possibly an unfair reflection of the days events, but justifying Reeds Weybridge dominance at the top of the table in the first half of the season.
Skipper Aitchison commented, "We expected a tough game, and we stepped our physicality up a notch today. This really proved it's worth for the first 60 minutes, but sloppy errors and some poor decision making on my part really cost us. The Reeds team looked battered and bruised as we clapped them off the field, but I give credit to them for their gutsy team performace. Certainly we are looking forward to playing them at our ground next year!"