It was great to see two of the Andersons, Grant and Warwick, back in the team from Injury and hopefully we will see Miles next!
Despite their low position in the league, Chingford looked very strong, particularly their large and athletic no 4 and no 8. However Shelford started strongly and pressed the Chingford line who infringed and Lewis Cracknell duly slotted the penalty, making it 3 – 0 after just 3 minutes. Five minutes later a long clearance from Jack Harvey put Chingford under pressure just inside their own half, resulting in another infringement and Lewis Cracknell added another 3 points from 40 metres making it 6 – 0.
Shelford continued to push with Sam Till making good ground before offloading to Warwick Anderson, but the attack was snuffed out by a high tackle and Lewis Cracknell took a further 3 points from the ensuing penalty. 11 minutes into the game and Shelford were 9-0 after ahead.
Chingford capitalised from the restart with their no 4 carving a hole through the Shelford defence to score under the posts , bring the score back to 9 – 7. Chingford continued to press and excellent Shelford defence broke down a dangerous attack on the 5 metre line.
There followed a 20-minute spell of attack and counter attack until Shelford were penalised for a high tackle. The penalty was taken quickly and a cross field kick was gathered with a touch-down in the corner. The visitors took the lead at 9 – 12.
Chingford piled on the pressure in the second half and Shelford were penalised for offside and Chingford took the 3 points, extending their lead to 9 – 15.
Chingford took possession at the re-start, cut through the Shelford defence and a clever chip over the defenders lead to a try under the posts and Chingford lead was further extended to 9 – 22.
Shelford countered with a determined attack and camped on the Chingford line with Jack Harvey finally crossing the line and Cracknell converting to reduce the deficit to 16 – 22.
Shelford kept up the pressure and a penalty into the corner set up a promising attack but this was squandered by poor handling. Chingford counter-attacked and Shelford were penalised for not releasing at the ruck. Chingford took a quick tap penalty and cut right through the Shelford defence for a score under the posts, taking the score to 16 – 29.
Shelford were tiring by now and in the 79th minute conceded a further try after losing the ball at their own scrum on their goal line, taking the final score to 16 – 34.
It must be said that despite the poor run of results, team spirit remains good and young, less experienced players have shown their resilience and stepped up to the challenges. An experience from which they will benefit in future years.
It's Dorking next week and we can expect this improving trend to continue.