Plenty to ponder after an encouraging start
Shelford started so brightly ……….
Shelford started so brightly against Saffron Walden, which turned out to be a highly competitive game for a good 35mins. The forwards were certainly up for the contest, counter-rucking the visitors on several occasions to turn over possession a number of times. The home side’s fast start was rewarded with an excellent score by Rob Lucas, converted by Harvey Taylor. But Shelford knew the strength of their opposition and it wasn’t long before they were level after Shelford conceded a penalty and were guilty of reacting slowly as the visitors raced through for a converted score. More Shelford pressure resulted in a two very kickable penalties, one of which was successful for Harvey Taylor. And at the end of a compelling first half, as the clock ticked into the red zone, Saffron Walden were awarded a couple of quick penalties and made the most of a scattered defence to break out to score and take a 14-10 lead at the break. The scoreline didn’t really tell the full story as all too often the Shelford defence were guilty of being sucked in to leave several multiple overlaps that the visitors failed to utilise. Equally the home side’s handling in the backs let them down on a number of occasions that could easily have yielded further scoring opportunities.
The second half was a very different affair as Saffron Walden got the upper hand both in forward exchanges and through their excellent pace in the backs, especially out wide. Try as they might the Shelford defence was under intense pressure, not helped by a number of missed tackles, and they conceded 3 scores without reply, one of which was converted. With the game gone, Shelford kept at their game and were rewarded with a good team try scored by Samuel Arbon. But the visitors had the last word with a very impressive counter-attacking score to complete a somewhat chastening 41-15 victory and leave Shelford with plenty to ponder.