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Old Reigatian Vs Tottonians Match Report
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Published: 8 January 2022
This Article was Written by: Kate Birinder-Ross
Saturday Old Reigatian 1st XV travelled to Southampton to face Tottonians who were one place below ORs in the league with both teams having won seven and lost two games this season and last time they met at Park Lane Totts came away winning by a single point 26-27. So there was no doubt this would be a very competitive game and decided by the smallest of margins.
The early exchanges looked good for the visitors with the Reigate team looking stronger at scrum time and looking more dangerous with the ball in hand. After 19 minutes with no score, Reigatian moved once again into the home sides half and showed some great handling with Tom Woodford stepping inside the defence to break the gain line he offloaded to Finn Coyle who had Jack Baart outside to take the move into the 22 where he found Alex Skinner in support to run in the opening score under the posts. Skinner added the extra two points to give ORs a 0-7 lead.
The score remained the same for the next ten minutes as both sides struggled with the conditions. After 32 minutes Totts were awarded a Penalty their kicker made no mistake to close the gap to 3-7 this seemed to encourage the home side with them crossing the try line twice in a five minute period taking the score to 15-7 at Half Time.
With the start of the second half ORs built momentum and moved deep into Totts 22. With the forwards trying to force there way over eventually prop Paul Marshall looked like he had driven over to score only for the Ref to disallow the try and he felt there was a double movement.
The next score went to the home side for another penalty making the score 18-7 and looking like ORs were losing touch.
Again Totts were applying pressure in the Reigatian 22 when some robust defence from Tom Allen lead to the ball going loose which Woodford collected and he feed to Harrison Mitchell who cleared the pressure and switched the play to the other end of the pitch. Woodford chased the kick which lead to a turnover in Totts 22 the ball was moved quickly across the field to the opposite wing where Coyle was stopped just short the forwards then took over picking and driving to the line when they were held up just short the ball was released and flyhalf Ben Holder found Mitchell on his own on the Wing to score a well worked try. The gap closed to 18-12 and the visitors were within one score.
With 15 minutes remaining Reigatian were looking to play in the Totts half. Mitchell again put in a long kick long into Totts territory this kick was returned straight into the arms of outside centre Allen who dispute to two inches of mud showed great pace to leave some defenders in his wake with quick ball being won the play was switched to the other wing where Coyle was on his own to score in the corner 18-17 and a conversion from the touchline needed. Alex Skinner stepped up and in awful conditions slotted the kick to gain a one point lead with four minutes left.
From the restart Totts were throwing everything at ORs to try and regain the lead. Reigatian’s were defending well with no ground being given. With the play just to the right of the posts the Ref signalled for a Penalty to Totts. The kicker pushed the Penalty wide and the one point advantage stood. ORs took the 22 pushing play towards the halfway within a couple of phases Totts were back in front of the posts and as Ryan Travers tried to roll away from the ruck the Totts scrum half appeared to slip and fall over the Ref immediately signalled another Penalty. Again the Kicker took his time and again pushed the kick wider than last time this was unfortunately knocked on giving Totts a scrum on the 5 minute line. ORs moved Totts back in scrum and Totts just managed to get the ball away again the defence was quickly up and stopped Totts backs as they received the ball. Straight away the Ref raised his arm and awarded a third penalty within probably two minutes.
Third time lucky for the Totts kicker as he slotted the penalty to give them a two point lead 21-19. There was no time to restart the game as the Ref blow for full time leaving the Reigatian player’s heart broken, they had given 200% in the second half to reclaim the lead. Sometimes sport can deal a cruel hand. After 160 minutes of Rugby only three points separated the teams and Totts move to the top of the league Reeds split the two teams in second with a game in hand. ORs now lie third two points adrift of Totts. Next Saturday they travel to fourth place Chiswick needing a win to keep in touch with the league leaders.
Tottonians 21-19 Old Reigatian