Early promise fades
Tring 53 - Shelford 8
In sunny but windy conditions, despite eight straight losses, Shelford were looking to build on the promising performance from the previous game in a narrow loss to Sutton and Epsom. Tring were 5th in the league having just lost twice this season. It was still a relatively new look Shelford side with debuts for Uraia Naulusala and Wes Mukonoweshuro and second time out for Will Nicholls and Frederick Betteridge.
A strong start was needed from Shelford with both the slope and wind in their favour but Tring took the early initiative in immediately attacking the Shelford line. A penalty was conceded and from the line out the ball was driven over, Try, 5– 0.
The Shelford lineout could not match Tring, but after 15 minutes a Tring infringement was punished by a penalty from which Louis Cracknell kicked, 5-3.
There followed the best play of the afternoon from Shelford who exerted continuous pressure on Tring resulting in a try from Sam Till, 5-8. For the next 15 minutes they continued to threaten and played good attacking rugby combined with good defence. Then they appeared to run out of steam and ideas and their play became scrappy. As a result of poor handling, the ball went loose and was scooped up by a Tring centre to score. 10-8.
Shortly after the break the Tring forwards drove over for another try that was converted. Tring now turned on the pressure, assisted by the slope and following wind. Another try and then Shelford were down to 13 players following two yellow cards in quick succession. It was all over and no amount of resolute tackling could stop Tring adding to their try count.
A poor result for Shelford, but some positivity can be taken from their first half performance, particularly as new players settle in and others return from injury.