Spirited 2nd team come up short
Well fought contest sees Shelford take the spoils
For the second week running, Ives 2nd team contested a semi final as they welcomed Shelford to the Chicken Shack. Buoyant from the record win the week before, 27 players made themselves available for the contest and thanks goes to Tom and Shelford for allowing us to get everyone a game.
Shelford turned up with a powerful side and took the lead within 2 minutes as Ives tackling went awry and big ball carries from halfway penetrated the defence for a soft score. 0-5
The home side took a while to find their feet and showed too much respect to the opposition. Shelford bullied their way upfield and got their second try on the 20 minute mark but missed the conversion. 0-10
Ives finally came into the game and gained good field position with ball carries from Bradley Robinson, Rob Olivier, Sunbed and Sam Tuckwood in particular. Off a quick tap penalty, Joe Cox fed Jim Robinson who slinked through a gap and then offloaded back to Joe Cox to score under the posts. 7-10
Shelford started applying the pressure again, dominating the breakdown with their sizeable pack as the Ives penalty count grew. Continued kicks to the corner and relentless pressure on the Ives line finally resulted in a third try for the visitors. 7-17 halftime.
2nd Team Manager, Tim Lumley-Good made changes at the break but it was Shelford who started the half stronger and within a couple of minutes had a shy at the posts from a penalty but the ball struck the left upright and stayed out but Ives struggled to clear their lines. The introduction of Will Mandley and Cullen Smy to the three-quarters bought a little flare and ambition to the back line but a pass went astray and the Shelford centre was able to intercept and dot down under the posts. At 7-24 heads could easily have dropped but if anything, this score had the opposite effect as Ives went on the offensive. Pete Hammond, Darren Woods and The Moff added ballast and experience to the front row and provided a great platform from the set piece. Greg Richards from scrum half started releasing the backs more frequently and a lovely set of hands fed Cullen Smy who finished well in the corner. 12-24
On the hour mark, a steady scrum from the middle of the field allowed Brad Robinson to pick from the base and make good yards up the left before passing to the elder Robinson #JR10 who went through and was one on one with the last defender and Callum Long made a tremendous spurt up the left wing to provide support and was rewarded with a try in the corner. The conversion annoyingly hit the cross bar. 17-24
The next score would prove key to the final outcome and it was the visitors who struck in the 75th minute driving a maul from a close line out to stretch their lead. 17-29
Ives weren’t finished though as they went in search of a try scoring bonus point and scored arguably not only their best score of the day but one of the finest seen all season. It started with bullish carries from the pack crossing the gain line as the defence of Shelford tired, then from just inside the 22, Rob Carrington spun it out to Robinson Snr and the back line ran a successful training ground move straight out of the Max Dominy playbook as space opened up outside the 13 channel and Cullen Smy from fullback cut a great line to crash over! Final score 24-29
TLG summed up the performance post match by highlighting the slow start, missed tackles and too many penalties conceded – all things that can be rectified for next season but also heaped a huge amount of praise on the players for a gritty display in testing condition against a very strong team.
Man of the match = Sam Tuckwood.