Two great wins...
Parents' Player of the day - Harry Grenville
North Walsham 10 Shelford 14
Tries – Lewis Hall, Charlie Yeneralski
Conversions – Joshua Speechley 2
Cambridge 5 Shelford 26
Tries – Lewis Hall, Will Barnett, Matt Saville-Stones, Kieran Frost
Conversions – Joshua Speechley 3
Parents Player of the day
Harry Grenville – Harry played with a real intensity and desire throughout the day (maybe a little too much intensity in the last 5 minutes)
Back of the Day
Will Barnett – His performances at Fly half have been getting better and better both with his decision making and leading the line in defence.
Forward of the Day
Freddie Spence – Freddie was dynamic throughout, ripping the ball from opponents, making good forward ground and working hard in the loose.
It was a dry, chilly and breezy day as the Shelford U14’s finally had a short journey to Cambridge to play in a triangular fixture against our local rivals and a strong team from Norfolk. Like the week before the boys were faced with two 25 minute matches in a triangular tournament.
Shelford’s first game was against North Walsham and the strong wing was in their favour in the first period. Harry Grenville made a great early tackle and turnover ball was secured and immediately spread wide; with quick hands from the backs; to Lewis Hall on the opposite wing. Lewis sprinted past his opposite number and crossed the line to score behind the posts; Joshua Speechley adding the extras. The Walsham kick off was taken well by Tyler Driscoll and he drove forward up the pitch. Good handling again released Fox Pollock who drove at the opposition defence. Despite being held up just short of the line he was able to release the ball to Charlie Yeneralski who drove over to extend the Shelford lead; Joshua again adding the two points. North Walsham came back at the boys and a series of good tackles from Owen Armitage, Toby Pym, Lewis Hall, Joshua Speechley and Charlie Yeneralski kept them at bay before they finally crossed the line just before half time with an unconverted score.
The second half had Shelford battling the wind as well as their opponents. Further good tackling was needed and Edgar Watson, Charlie Yeneralski, Toby Pym and Lewis Hall all made good challenges. However North Walsham again managed to cross the line and with the scores at 14:10 Shelford needed to see out the last few minutes to secure the win. North Walsham had a series of line outs close to the Shelford line but desperate defence from Matt Saville Stones, Kieran Frost, Arthur Gomm and the rest of the forward pack held out until the final whistle.
Shelford then had a break and the opportunity to watch the Cambridge v North Walsham fixture in which Cambridge emerged victorious with a 26:17 score line. It was now time for our boys to meet Cambridge in what would prove the deciding fixture in the triangular tournament. The match started poorly for the Peacocks after the Cambridge kick off was dropped and the defence was too slow to organise allowing Cambridge to get off to a flying start and a 5:0 lead.
The Shelford boys hit back straight away after a good tackle from Connor Gillingham allowed the back line to spin the ball to the opposite wing for Lewis Hall to charge at the line. Despite being tackled short, his strength allowed him to roll over and touch down to level the scores. Shelford then scored a superb forwards try, with some help from Toby Pym, as the advanced phase by phase towards the Cambridge Line, recycling possession until finally Cambridge gave away a penalty on the 5 metre line. Will Barnett was alert to the possibilities and a quick tap penalty saw him dive over the line to put the boys in front. Joshua Speechley added the extras to give Shelford a health lead as half time approached.
The second half once again had Shelford playing into the strong wind and the coaches urged them to keep the ball tight. That is exactly what they did and after forming a maul they rolled forward 20 metres before a ruck was formed and Matt Saville Stones picked up the ball and dived over the line under the posts. Again, Joshua added the 2 points. Matt was immediately back in the action breaking the Cambridge defensive line with a belligerent run and when he was brought down, offloading well to the supporting Alfie Kohler who was eventually held up short. Cambridge came back at Shelford but good tackling again from Toby Pym, Owen Armitage and Edgar Watson held them at bay. Shelford were probing the Cambridge line themselves with Matt Saville-Stones, Harry Grenville and Toby Pym all breaking the gain line before Kieran Frost charged over the whitewash from 5 metres out. Joshua added the extras and there was still time for the local rivalry to become fractious at the end with a yellow card being produced for both sides. However, the game soon ended with a 26:5 victory for Shelford.
Two great wins for the boys and these were superb performances with every member playing their part. The coaches were delighted to see a much higher level of intensity at the break down and some real team work from the entire squad. Well done boys, there is a certain Kiwi who is a very happy man today!