Colts beat Bishop's Stortford in late fixture change
Shelford Colts 24 ~ Bishop's Stortford Colts 12
Today we should have been playing Newmarket in the EC plate, but that got changed. Then, we should have been playing Hadleigh in the EC plate, but they were snowed in. Instead Bishop’s Stortford U17s stepped in as a curtain raiser to their U18 National Cup match against Brentford, played on Shelford’s 3G due to the state of pitches elsewhere. A big thank you to the U17s for giving us a very competitive fixture. Shelford scored 4 tries, the first two book ending the opening half, but also put in some immense work in defence to keep Stortford hunting the points until right at the end.
Shelford started strongly for a change. Kicking off into the breeze the ball held up nicely for Shelford’s chase and a sprinting James Groser to caught the ball at full tilt to get Shelford on the front foot. Shelford recycled well and kept the pressure on Stortford. The first penalty was kicked to the corner, the forwards did their job winnign the bal and Jack Biard ghosted through the on rushing Stortford defence to score under the posts, converting his own try for an early 7 – 0 lead only 2 minutes in. The game then yo-yoed from one end to the other, both teams testing the defence of the other only to come up short. Stortford in particular looked close to scoring on several occasions only for Shelford to deny them on the line. Right at the end of the half, Shelford broke the Stortford defensive shackles and some nice interplay down the right put Ollie Cooper over for an unconverted try on the stroke of half time, 12 – 0.
The second half opened with another 2 min score. Shelford applied a huge amount of pressure from the kick off, recycling the ball and running good lines. The Storford defence was caught short of numbers on the left and Finn Priddle crashed over in the corner for an unconverted try, 17 - 0. As Shelford rolled subs on it could have disrupted the cohesion, but despite all the changes the team held its shape and maintained the momentum from the first half. Their benefit was another well worked try. Forwards and backs combining down the right kept the ball alive with some great off loads, for Ollie Cooper to bag his second, converted by James Gould, 24 – 0. As the half progressed Stortford found themselves in the Shelford half more often, and started making Shelford pay. The “though shall not pass” defence of the first half started to creak and one missed tackle on the right wing allowed Stortford their first score after a full 50 mins of rugby, 24 – 5. Shelford held out more Stortford attacks, but were reduced to 14 after a yellow card for a very cynical infringement that killed the Stortford attack right in front of the Shelford posts. Stortford took advantage scoring a converted try, 24 – 12 with only 1 min remaining. The final minute was played out with Shelford on the attack, but with out the time to build a score.
Shelford squad: Harry Quantrill, Joe MacMullen, Jaydon Biggs, Jordan Barnes, Dominic Steggall, Jack Biard (1 try, 1 conversion), Kai Land, Nick Budenberg, Taimur Munir, Oliver Cooper (2 tries, man of the match), Jake Brown, Zain Tariq, Toby Carmichael, Oliver Emsley, James Fraser, Josh Parkhouse, Kallum Mulhall, Zeb Rayner, Rory Webster, George Crissall, Fin Priddle (1 try), George Symonds, Nathan Oram, Robert Armer, Oliver Jury, James Groser (captain), James Gould (1 conversion)