ECRU Plate Winners
Parents' Players of the Day - Fox and Owen
SHELFORD U14’S (ECRU Plate Final Winners)
12 March 2017
Woodbridge 0 Shelford 12
Tries - Owen Armitage, Kieran Frost
Conversion - Joe Davies
Diss 0 Shelford 0
Parents Player of the day
Fox Pollock – Fox played with great energy attacking the opposition with ball in hand and adding aggression to the teams play in the loose.
Owen Armitage – Direct running and strong in the tackle Owen fully deserved his try.
Back of the Day
Toby Pym – Once again his ability to time his tackles stood out and his determination in the loose
Forward of the Day
Fox Pollock – The coaching team agreed with the parents that Fox’s all round performance was excellent today.
It was a dry pleasant day as the Shelford U14’s made the long journey along the A14 and up the A12 to Woodbridge for the Eastern Counties plate final. This featured the third placed teams from Norfolk and Suffolk counties and the boys were faced with two 25 minute matches in a round robin tournament. Their opponents were Woodbridge from Suffolk and Diss from Norfolk with the boys able to reacquaint themselves with Jack who moved up to Norfolk a couple of years ago.
Shelford’s first game was against Woodbridge and the boys stuttered at the start with handling errors and poor ball presentation as well as a struggling scrum keeping them on the back foot. Good use of the boot by both Joe Davies and Will Barnett kept Woodbridge at bay early on. Kieran Frost had to sprint back to mop up a chip over the top by Woodbridge and the tackling had to be positive. After some good play by Kieran and Edgar Watson, both breaking the gain line, the Shelford three quarters were at last able to pass the ball along the line to Toby Pym on the right wing. After drawing his opponent a smart inside pass found Owen Armitage who fought to get over the line and touch down for the first score. Joe Davies added the extras for a 7:0 half time lead. The second half saw a slightly less error strewn Shelford team and after a long kick by Joe Davies, chased by Will Barnett, Charlie Yeneralski and Freddie Spence there was turnover ball and desperate defence from Woodbridge saw them give away a 5 metre penalty. This was taken sharply by Dan Fraser moving the ball to Kieran Frost who crashed over the line to increase the Shelford lead. Joe Davies was unlucky to hit the post with his conversion attempt. Woodbridge fought back and put Shelford under pressure at the tail end of the game and Charlie Yeneralski, Owen Armitage and Toby Pym all made good tackles before Matt Saville Stones was sent to the sin bin for ‘running like a muppet’ according to the referee, blocking a Woodbridge player from tackling his Shelford opponent. Down to 14 for the last couple of minutes, Shelford had to defend their line with Ben Colman making a try saving tackle on the 5 metre line just before the final whistle.
There was no time for recovery as Shelford were straight back on for their second match against Diss. This was another tight affair with the game ebbing and flowing from one end of the pitch to the other. Diss played with a big set of three quarters and strong tackling was needed with Edgar Watson and Toby Pym standing strong. When Shelford managed to get ball in hand, the power and pace of Owen Armitage and Lewis Hall nearly led to the break through needed to win the game. The second half saw much of the same with most of the match being played in the midfield. From a line out, Fox Pollock barged through the Diss midfield but was tackled on the Diss 10 metre line. Shelford were guilty of being too ‘nice’ at the rucks and the Diss team were winning too many turnovers when the boys went to ground. The forwards did manage a superb rolling maul which took Shelford to within sight of the Diss try line but once again, handling errors led to turnover ball. Diss tried to win the game at the death with some strong running and Edgar Watson and Charlie Yeneralski had to put in strong tackles before Alfie Kohler made superb tackle just before the final whistle was blown with 0:0 probably being a fair reflection of this tight fixture.
It was now time for the boys to watch the final game of the day knowing that only a good Diss win would stop them from coming away from the day victorious. This was a completely different game with attack generally beating defence. However it went well for the Peacock’s with Woodbridge prevailing 26 points to 14.
This was a superb day of extremely competitive rugby with Shelford’s boys taking the honours. The boys were solid in defence and can be proud that they kept two clean sheets against two strong sides. There is still plenty for the coaching team to work on though as handling errors and a lack of dynamism and aggression in the loose meant the display was disjointed throughout. However the tackling was better with all the boys standing up to their defensive challenges and ultimately it was our strong defence that led to the victory.