Eastern Counties Champions!
Well done the Colts...
Eastern Counties Plate (23rd April) – Ipswich YM 5 Shelford 31
A dream start to a fitting finale!
Within 3 minutes Shelford were ahead through a mix of clincal breakdown work, forceful ball-carrying and accomplished handling that set the tone for the final. Ipswich YM were penalised on halfway when the ball-carrier held on as Shelford challenged at the breakdown. Fly-half Hatter kicked to touch for a line-out on the right that was easily won by lock Colebrook jumping in the middle. Hatter stepped inside the on-rushing defence but unusually lost control of the ball in contact. Ipswich YM cleared but right-wing Cooper ran the ball back and from the ruck Shelford moved the ball infield for no8 Roberts to make good ground to the 5m line in front of the posts. The ball was recycled quickly and the ball came back to Hatter whose long pass left put centre Frisk in a position to commit the scrambling defence, getting an offload on the 5m line to Harnwell to touch down near the corner for the first try of the game. Ipswich YM 0 Shelford 5
On 9 minutes two bits of smart play turned the screw: the Shelford pack won a turnover at a maul with a ‘choke tackle’. From the resulting scrum on halfway Hatter deftly put through a grubber kick on the left that sat up nicely on the 10m line for Frisk racing through ahead of the wrong-footed defence. On the 22 he stepped inside the cover and was just able to beat a tap-tackle to score by the posts. Ipswich YM 0 Shelford 12
By the mid-point of the first half the damage was done. The Shelford pack achieved a third ‘choke tackle’ to turn over possession yet again. A high-tackle resulted in a yellow card leaving the beleaguered home team down to 14 players. Then, on halfway they infringed again at a breakdown - Hatter chanced the advantage with a wide punt to the left wing which just evaded Frisk and left-wing McGuire. From the penalty Hatter kicked to the right touchline for a 5m line-out and Shelford varied their line-out call with a slick return by Colebrook at the front to hooker Martinelli for him to drive through 2 tacklers to score in the right corner. Ipswich YM 0 Shelford 17
For a period around 25th minute, Ipswich YM managed to maintain a period of possesion with some good drives at the scrum but Shelford defended the halfway line, their 10m line and their 22m like they were the try line. There was typically aggressive tackling by flanker Wells, committed rucking by Colebrook, a forceful drive by lock Gelling, neat handling out of defence by Frisk, centre Heylen and McGuire and fast line-speed in defence from Heylen. Shelford won another line-out, this time on halfway through Wells and a hard line by Heylen made good ground, with scrum-half Clough winning the contest for the ball at the breakdown. Prop Moore drove hard in midfield, busting two tackles to get to the home 22. From the ruck Clough passed left to Hatter who outwitted the on-rushing defence with a well-improvised grubber and ran through to collect the high bounce to score.
Ipswich YM 0 Shelford 24
The first 20 minutes of the second half continued with Shelford dominance, helped in part by some wayward kicking by Ipswich YM. The Shelford forwards demonstrated their control as the pack drove in to support a break by flanker Tebbitt and won a penalty. Wing Radic made good yards on the left in heavy traffic and though Ipswich YM won the breakdown, they were going backwards under pressure from the front row (Martinelli and Budenberg) and the back row of Tebbitt, Atkinson and Roberts.
Lock Jones made in-roads in the 22 as did centre Thomson; Radic kept up the suffocating pressure with a tackle into touch on the left before the defence could clear the ball. From the line-out, Shelford got the upper-hand from re-set scrums and 2 dummy hard lines from Thomson and Heylen fixed the drift defence for Hatter to pass right to put Frisk through on a clear line to score near the posts. Ipswich YM 0 Shelford 31
Ipswich YM rallied to get into the Shelford 22 for about 5 minutes but resolute defence, including an excellent driving tackle by Hjaltun-Rayner, kept them out. Shelford’s pack achieved another maul turnover 5m from their line and worked their way back upfield in part through carries by Emsley and Butler but were unfortunate to concede a breakaway try with only 5 minutes to go. Ipswich YM 5 Shelford 31
Shelford ended the game camped back in the home 22 and Frisk was unfortunate to break his cheekbone when making a tackle in the last minute of the game. This accomplished all-round team performance was a fitting finale to a run which notched up 14 wins since November and marked the end of youth rugby for half of the squad.
Ipswich YM 5 Shelford 31
Shelford: Moore, Martinelli, Budenberg; Jones, Colebrook, Wells, Roberts, Gelling; Clough, Hatter; Cooper, Frisk, Heylen, McGuire, Harnwell;
Replacements: Akello-Ochieng, Emsley, Hjaltun-Rayner, Atkinson, Tebbitt, Thomson, Radic, Butler.