Peacocks fly away empty handed
Promising start fails to yield any reward
A promising opening half by Shelford, where they had lots of possession and good field position only yielded a try for Charlie Parkhouse, as their hosts Hertford eventually ran out comfortable winners.
Shelford flew out of the blocks and a great kick ahead by Mike Gillick into space behind the Hertford defence was chased down well by Parkhouse, who reached the ball first to nudge the ball close to the line. Parkhouse then gathered the ball to slide over the line for a 5-0 Shelford lead.
Another promising Shelford attack was thwarted by a fine Hertford tackle that forced the knock-on, with which they returned the turnover ball close to the Shelford line before forcing a 5 metre attacking scrum, as they showed their threat out wide with ball-in-hand. Shelford dealt with the attack to keep their try line in tact.
Shelford were soon on the attack again as Redmond Newberry won a turnover at the breakdown, and from another kick ahead behind the Hertford defence, more pressure by Parkhouse caused Hertford to infringe. The resultant penalty was kicked to the corner, but Shelford's lineout failed at the all-important moment, and Hertford were able to clear their lines.
Hertford went upfield and put their first points on the board through the boot of Sean Taylor, 3-5, after Shelford were penalised for being offside.
Hertford were now starting to look menacing with ball in hand, as their pacey backs started to come more into the game. A period of constant pressure finally told, and their captain Josh Corcoran went over in the corner, and the try was converted well by Sean Taylor from the touchline, 10-5.
On the stroke of half-time Shelford were awarded a penalty in front of the posts when Tom Lucas was tackled high by Hertford's Richard Streets, who received a yellow card. Unfortunately Josh Simmonds' attempt went wide, which was a shame as 10-8 would have been a much fairer reflection on the game at that stage.
Hertford, starting the second half with 14 men soon took the game away with two early scores, the first one through Aaron Lowe who streaked away to the line after a neat offload put him away, converted by Taylor, 17-5.
Shelford then won a penalty at the scrum which was kicked to the corner for an attacking lineout, but yet again their execution failed, and Hertford were quick to sieze on the turnover ball, and as they worked their way upfield, they created space for winger Michael Allan to score under the posts, converted by Taylor, 24-5.
The final Hertford try also came from them forcing another turnover from a Shelford attack and Allan streaked away for his second score, again converted by Sean Taylor for their BP score at 31-5.
Shelford had lots of possession in the final quarter of the game, but good Hertford defence kept their tryline in tact during the second period to finish at 31-5.
Shelford were in this game for long periods, but errors at the set-piece in promising positions along with the odd misplaced pass in good attacking situations meant we added no further scores, which was the least our intent deserved.
What it did show is that there is little between teams in this league on any given day, and if a few of our set plays had functioned to plan, then the score line could have been a whole lot different. In the end Hertford took their chances when they came along, and that was ultimately the difference between the two teams.
On another positive note, we saw a very accomplished performance by centre Kieran Hatter (18) as he made his first start for the first team. Hatter looked extremely solid in defence and linked well with the rest of the backline in attack. Well played Kieran!