Colts win away at Hertford
Colts away to Hertford
Hertford 31 – 33 Shelford
The day started with a moving ceremony marking Remembrance Day. Every player, parent, coach and supporter assembled in front of the club house for a rendition of The Last Post, a reading of the Ode of Remembrance from the poem For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon, and a veteran of World War II reminding us of what it means to remember fallen comrades. The best-organised and moving Remembrance Day ceremony this author has experienced at any rugby club, a big thank you to Hertford rugby club.
This was the second meeting between these two colts teams this season, the first, played at Shelford, was a low scoring affair, two tries each and the match decided by one conversion with Hertford gaining a win by 2 points: 12 -10. Again, today, the difference was two points with one conversion separating the sides, Shelford this time prevailing in a higher scoring match with 5 tries each: 31 – 33. The close score perfectly reflects a close game, the lead changing hands 5 times with one team then the other taking the lead, and neither ever pulling far enough away to be confident of the win. Hertford took the lead, punishing some sloppy handling from Shelford. In fact all the Hertford scores came from Shelford errors in one way or another, dropped passes and indiscipline costing the visitors, although it was not always clear what some of the penalties were for. Shelford hit back, only to concede the lead, then regain it, to lose it again to an interception against the run of play and end the half 17 – 14 down. Two well worked tries for centre Ollie Newman, both converted by Jack Biard, not enough for the lead.
Shelford went further behind to a converted try early in the second half by piling pressure on themselves with some poor decisions and then painting the wrong picture to the ref who was happy to penalise them. That sparked a Shelford fight back with some good forward play getting held up over the line, but from the resulting scrum Ollie got his hat trick, with Jack again getting the extras. Then the forwards made amends for not scoring the previous try, a series of pick and goes on the Hertford line, eventually finished of by Rory Webster, this time unconverted. Shelford now back in the lead 24 – 26. Hertford tried to pressure the Shelford line, but even playing into the wind Shelford managed to kick down field to relieve the pressure, even if the kicks weren’t that accurate. Shelford then got what proved to be the decisive score, they retained possession well through a series of phases, James Duffy finishing off a team try in the right corner. The conversion by Archie Calne, from the touch line, into the wind, went in off the left upright to take Shelford more then a converted try ahead. With 6 minutes remaining, Shelford went down to 14 men, with Rory Webster spoiling his man of the match performance with a yellow card for an accidental high tackle. Hertford took advantage, scoring a converted try and taking the score to 31 – 33 with 4 mins remaining. A tense last few minutes was played out largely in the Hertford half, with Shelford pressing for another score, but just not quite able to get it and winning by that one conversion.
Shelford squad: Ronin Ashcroft, Robert Armer, Jack Biard (4 conversions), Jake Brown , Archie Calne (1 conversion), George Crissall, James Duffy (1 try), Michael Griffiths, Kai Land, Miguel Meirim, Joe McAdam, Taimur Munir, Ollie Newman (3 tries), Teddy Pope, Alfie Salmon, Ben Shakleton, Tom Sims , Jack Smith, Rory Webster (captain, 1 try, man of the match)