Nomads March On
Quick-Fire Cracknell Hat-Trick Sets Platform
Shelford Nomads continued their good run of form with another excellent win away at Westcliff, making it six wins ‘on the spin’, and scoring 50 points or more for the fifth consecutive game.
Nomads, playing into a really stiff breeze, came out firing, and with their first foray into the opposition half, showed their intent with ball in hand, as only a ‘last ditch’ Westcliff tackle prevented Nick Borkett from opening the scoring.
Shelford continued with the same ‘ball in hand’ mentality throughout the half, and great interplay between Lewis Cracknell and David Graham down the right hand flank saw Cracknell dot down twice in the corner, 10-0 Shelford.
Westcliff came back into the match after going through a number of phases close to the Nomads’ line, before spinning the ball wide for their centre to run in under the posts, converted for 10-7.
Cracknell then completed his quick-fire hat-trick within the first 15 minutes, as David Graham, with his third assist put Cracknell away before he dummied the final defender and touched down behind the posts and converted his own score, 17-7.
Poor ‘first up’ tackling by Shelford then let Westcliff ‘in behind’ the Nomads defence, and although the attack was stopped short, good support play finished the move off, and with the conversion kicked, brought the scores to 17-14.
Great forward play by front rowers Louis Mann and Wes then set up good field position before a fine breakaway by John Naylor, and good support by the back line saw them spin the ball wide for Nick Borkett to finish off a superb team try, converted by Cracknell, 24-14.
Another fine break by one of the pack, this time by young flanker Harry Jones, set up another great opportunity for the marauding backs, as fine interplay between Naylor and Tom Jackson opened up the space for David Graham following a deft offload by Naylor, and Graham strolled over, converted by Cracknell, 31-14.
Tom Jackson then showed his pace and an eye for a gap with a fine run from deep, and Rhodri Dawes was on hand to take the offload and run in under the posts, again converted by Cracknell, 38-14.
Sloppy play by Shelford at the restart allowed Westcliff immediately back into the game, as they let the bouncing ball cause havoc in their defence. Westcliff reclaimed the ball to score a pretty soft try and the half finished at 38-19.
Shelford started the second half with a commanding lead, and also with knowing they had the strong breeze at their backs. Nomads put the first score on the board early on in that period as fine back play again opened up the Westcliff defence, this time with Ollie Jones putting the final pass away to Rhodri Dawes, 43-19.
Shelford then rang many changes, particularly in the back line, as they again blooded the promising teenage Colts Harrison Clough and Keiran Hatter at half-backs. Hatter in particular stood up well to some close attention from the Westcliff defence.
Constant infringements by Shelford, mainly for tackles that were deemed too high, put Westcliff in good field position before piling over the line from close range, 43-24.
Late on in the game, Ollie Jones was involved yet again, this time putting Adam Eldridge away into the corner, and Eldridge then converted his own score with a fine touchline kick, as he completed the scoring at 50-24.
This was another emphatic win and performance by an evermore confident Nomads team. Their next game is at home next week against London Irish, where they hope to continue their good form.
Tries: Lewis Cracknell x3 Nick Borkett David Graham Rhodri Dawesx2 Adam Eldridge
Conversations: Lewis Cracknell x4 Adam Eldridge
Man of the Match: Ben White
Dork of the Day: Adam Eldridge