READING RFC put rock bottom Drifters to the sword as they smashed their Farnham Common rivals 74-5 in Southern Counties North on Saturday.

Reading dominated from the beginning. The pack had the better of their opponents in the scrums and newcomer Connor Lee, making his debut, had a great game in the line-out.

Flanker Grant Spears, hampered last season by injury, looked back to his best with his support play and elusive running.

Centre Melvyn Gilmour, back for his first appearance this season, made some penetrative runs and was rewarded with three tries.

Not to be outdone, veteran winger Chris Greig also weighed in with a hat-trick of tries, taking his club total to 72 in 142 games.

Scrum half Nick Portch, who had an influential game behind a dominant scrum, scored two tries, a penalty and eight conversions to clock up 29 points.

Also on the try-score sheet were centre Jos Clarke, hooker Patrick Johnson and, in his penultimate game before returning to New Zealand, prop Billy Woodworth.

A solid practioner, Woodworth will be missed when he returns to his native country in January.

Another young newcomer who made an impact coming on as a second-half replacement was flanker Michael O’Toole, who certainly put himself in line for future selection.

The first score came in the second minute, when Portch kicked a penalty. Reading continued on the offensive but were kept out by some excellent Drifters defence until a break by Clarke set up co-centre Gilmour for his first try.

Ten minutes later Clarke himself scored after a great run by wing Greig and, shortly after, Portch took a pass near the touchline and dummied his way under the posts to score.

Two tries followed shortly before half time. First, Johnson drove over from a line-out and then Chris Greig scored his first, following a scrum 35 yards out.

Four of the five tries were converted by Portch for a half-time lead of 36-0. The second half started with a line-out try for Woodworth before the home team responded with a try of their own.

Undeterred, a Reading tap penalty from near their own line and a great run from Spears ended with Portch scoring his second.

Greig then intercepted from distance and scored. Soon after, he was at it again after quick passing set him free.

Gilmour then took over, adding two more tries to make the final total of tries 11. Portch added four more conversions.

Reading end 2017 with a home game against second-bottom Gosford All Blacks on Saturday.