Reynolds finds range to kick Wells out of reach

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CS Stags 1863: 24

Tunbridge Wells: 34

After three consecutive wins to start the new campaign, they then suffered three straight defeats. But they are now back among the chasing pack in fifth place.

New Kiwi signings Tui Tauaika and Agy Eukaliti started at prop and lock respectively in Chiswick after robust debuts from the bench last week.

There was also a First XV debut for Skinners’ School and Heathfield product James Pancaldi at flanker after strong displays for the Seconds.

After an early penalty kick Wells found their scrum faltering, as it had in previous weeks, and when it collapsed the Stags crossed for a converted try from their own attacking scrum.

Another penalty was missed but the Wells forwards took control of the ball on 23 minutes and Ben Whale forced his way over after a fine series of pick-and-drives, Frank Reynolds converting.

Showing great vision, George Montgomery spotted Richard Webster out wide and – in an echo of their under-15 season together – he struck a sweet diagonal kick that the in-form winger gathered before diving in for an unconverted try on 28 minutes.

Stags narrowed the lead with a penalty but then Wells struck back with a kick of their own.

However, the visitors conceded another scrum penalty and could not stop a fine rolling maul which went 20 metres to score out wide, accompanied by an excellent touchline conversion to make the score 18-17 to Wells at half-time.

On the hour-mark Reynolds slotted a third penalty but then Whale was shown a yellow card. Stags’ scrum allowed them to cross with ease for a converted try that took them into the lead.

Wells showed their tenacity and it was Stags’ turn to lose a player to the sin bin. After opting for a scrum penalty Mike Doherty crashed through under the posts, Reynolds adding the extras.

With five minutes left the visitors had taken a 28-24 lead and Reynolds stretched it with a mighty penalty kick from the halfway line, followed by an easier one to secure the win and a personal haul of 19 points.

Wells now have a weekend off before returning to action with the eagerly anticipated A21 derby with Sevenoaks at St Marks on November 9 (kick-off 2.30pm).

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