Sunday saw the Shelford U13 Peacocks head out to the Cambridgeshire Fens for a game against the Ely Tigers. For some the journey out to the Fen was reported to be slow, but all eventually arrived for a warm up session hosted by the coaches for the day, Dan, Shaun, Mike and Paul, before the formal kick off at 12 noon. The skies were blue with some clouds, a beautiful autumn sun with temperatures in the region of 16 oC stayed with us throughout the game. Mums sported their designer sun glasses whilst tasting the delights of the Ely mums baking fund raising stand. Conditions couldn't have been better for players (and parents).
First half saw both teams perform well with strong performances all round. Some good tackles from Matthew before a knock on from Ely. First scrum of the day was lost of Ely; early pressures of the game taking its toll on the Peacocks, with Ely going on to complete a good run as the player broke away to run the length of the pitch to take the first try. The Peacocks lacked any tackle by Shelford - but the Tiger was quick!
Following on from the next kick off restart, Harvey made a good pass and the following ruck saw Edward run away to take the first Shelford try of the day. The next ruck was taken by Ely although Matthew was in the midst of the activity, some good tackling followed by Shelford.
Felix was on fire through out getting good hands on contact with the ball and some good runs in. Although the Shelford team lacked in their passing which would have provided an even more successful game without so many challenges from the Tigers. However, Williams makes a good run and a turn over in the Scrum and scores the next try for Shelford.
The next kick off sees Ely with the ball and demonstrating some good passing, however Shelford secures the ball in the next ruck, Edward gets the ball but soon receives some tackles from the Tigers, but successful passing secures the next try by Felix to Shelford. The next kick off by Shelford sees the ball taken by the Tigers but recovered through a great tackle from Matthew. Both teams seem to be fumbling around to then try and claim the ball, but Harvey moves in an secures the ball and makes a great run resulting in lining up yet another for a Shelford try by Oscar.
Ely kick off next and Charlie makes a good get away before being tackled and loosing the ball to the Tigers. Edward recovers the position and makes a good run and yes Shelford get another try. However, next kick off sees Ely get the ball, well tackled by Edward but the Tigers keep the ball. Good efforts seen by the Shelford Peacocks with some good rucking throughout the game being demonstrated.
Unfortunately Edward gets taken off as a precaution after being caught under a ruck, although we see his return for the second half. Bryce takes the ball but knocked on and given to Ely, following which Ely runs away with the ball scoring the next try. Shelford has their next injury as Gabriel is taken off with a knock to the head.
Shelford continue to scrummage well and we see Brandon take the next try. William's strong tacks secures the ball just before half time is called, when the team convene with the coaches for a debrief and lessons learnt from the first half, huddle and chanting and motivational words from Mike, Dan, Paul and Shaun re-energise the Peacocks for the second half.
Second half sees Edward back and on form. Harvey is straight in with the ball, before losing it to Ely, who then received a good tackle by Alex. Shelford were on fire! Good kicking seen from Shelford creating good distance, although not enough on their return, seeing Ely take the ball and making the first try of the second half as a result of a knock on advantage. Shelford forwards lacked the strength needed in the scrums, but great skills were demonstrated in the rucks.
Ben takes the ball and makes a courageous pass to Oscar, before Ely gets the ball, but Gabriel was on their tale, but not in time as Ely takes the next try. Shelford returns though with the next try, with Charlie taking the try, as a result of James great rucking. But Ely's back with the next try although William chased the ball down, and almost succeeded. Ben and Bryce did great jobs of tacking,
We then see an Ely man down and games suspended for a few minutes whilst the situation is assessed. Great team support and sportsmanship demonstrated from the Peacocks as the Ely man returns to play the Shelford Peacocks give a huge claps of support and encouragement. Great team spirit!, Games reconvenes and we see some good tackling from James and Matthew with George holding back up position. Next scrum sees great strength from Shelford and Charlie makes the next try, great run followed by closely chasing Ely Tigers who were unsuccessful on this occasion.
Shelford now starting to spread out to defend and Felix comes into play making a fantastic run with the ball, securing the next try for the team. We see some good defending from Felix after the next kick off and good support being provided by Gabriel. Matthew makes another great kick giving good distance and we see James responding speedily with some quick chasing. Following the next Scrum, Brandon gets taken down, but Gabriel recovers the ball and Shelford's Charlie scores the next try.
Second half draws to an end with a well played match from both sides, but the Peacocks taking the most tries on this occasion (Claire - Scores captured by scribe Shelford 10/Ely 7)
The team was supported throughout the game by non playing team member Ben (whose injuring was attributed to a football!). Great team sports person Ben and look forward to having you back in the field soon.
Wrap up from Shaun praises the great performance but key lessons reiterated - the fundamentals are good catching, passing, running, scrummaging and tacking. Words of wisdom of the day given - 'get the first tackle in', unnerve the opposition to your advantage; start on a high and take it into and throughout the game. Paul congratulated the team on a game well played. Excellent game and good etiquette throughout demonstrated by the whole team.