Colts beat Newmarket in Eastern Counties Plate Competition
Shelford Colts 41 Newmarket Colts 22
Nothing except pride left for either side in the plate part of the competition as neither side was able to qualify for the plate finals. However, pride was an important motivator and both sides were up for the match.
Throughout the first half, when Shelford had the ball they looked the better side, but not when they didn’t. Shelford’s handling allowed them to move the ball and vary the point of attack, keeping Newmarket’s large forwards moving from side to side. What advantage Newmarket had through the size of their pack was limited to the scrums, and that wasn’t enough to win Shelford ball. Shelford used their handling advantage to score three good tries, James Fraser snipping from a close range ruck, James Groser finding the blindside defence very accommodating when picking from the base of the scrum, and Ed Hughes using his pace and strength to cut through the midfield, James Gould converting 2. Newmarket’s only points of the half coming from Shelford indiscipline, a high tackle in front of the posts and a successful penalty. 19 – 3 the score at half time.
In the second half the game opened up with the sides sharing 7 tries between them. Shelford took the game away from Newmarket opening a 29 – 3 lead with tries from James Groser, and Jordan Barnes, before Newmarket hit back with a converted try of their own. After being camped on Shelford’s line for multiple phases, they eventually drove over, Shelford earning a yellow card in the process. The sides then swapped scores, Tyus Pfender profiting from a great break from Morgan Pavlovic, Newmarket earning a penalty try for a high tackle on the line, then Olly Elmsley crashing over for Shelford’s final try, converted by Jordan Barnes. Newmarket deservedly had the final say with a try in the left corner, to take the final score to 41 – 22 in Shelford’s favour.
Shelford squad: Tyus Pfender (1 try), Oliver Calvey, Dominic Steggall, Charlie Curedale-Rayner, Kai Land, Harry Quantrill, Zeb Rayner, Finn Hughes, Ed Hughes (1 try), James Fraser (1 try, man of the match), Oliver Emsley (1 try), Jake Brown, James Gould (2 conversions), James Groser (2 tries, captain), Finn Priddle, Kallum Mulhall, Jordan Barnes (1 try, 1 conversion)