Sat 30
Shelford 2
24
-
35
Cup
1st XV
Walden progress to the County Semi Finals

Walden progress to the County Semi Finals

By Graham Marshall
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A fantastic first half give Walden enough points on the board to hold out a determined comeback by Shelford.


Walden travelled the short distance up to Shelford to play the Cambridgeshire Cup Quarter Finals under lights on their 3G pitch.
With a mixed side with several regulars away it was a fantastic first half performance that sealed the win.
It was five minutes before the first score as Shelford kicked long to clear their lines, Matt Melish playing at Full back took the ball on the run and scythed through the Shelford defensive line in what was to be the start of a Man of the Match Performance. He linked up with flyhalf Conor McCabe who went over under the posts.
Walden thought they had scored again as centre Vili Navia jinked his way through from half way and it looked as though he grounded the ball only for it to bounce up and the Ref thought he had knocked on.
But Walden soon added to the score board when after 15 minutes Shelford conceded a penalty 15 metres out, quick thinking by scrum half Keegan Diggons saw Shelford on the back foot and quickly tapped and raced forward sending a perfect pass to flanker Will McGinn who dived over in the corner, Mellish kicked a fine conversion to put Walden up by 14 points.
Another penalty this time Walden kicked to the corner and looked like they might set up a catch and drive but quick ball off the top saw it spun wide for Centre Ben Stapleton to run on to it at pace finding a perfect line to go under the posts unopposed.
The scoring continued when Diggons rounded off a great move after a fine run by 2nd row Charlie Potter who nearly ran the 80 metres after catching the re start kick.
Then with 5 mins left on the clock before half time Walden scored the 7th try of the half as Stapleton rounded off another great move with Forwards and Backs combining to stretch the Shelford defence.
Shelford scored their first try right at the end of the half as they created an overlap to go over in the corner. Half time 5 – 35.
Looking at the Final Score you might think that there was a strong wind or a slope in Walden's favour in the first half but with almost perfect playing conditions and a 3G pitch it was a more a case of a bit of switching off, maybe a few key players receiving knocks, a touch of naivety and Shelford's young team perhaps being a bit fitter and buoyed by the late score in the first half.
Shelford scored a fine try with only 3 minutes played of the half and then another 10 minutes later to narrow the gap to 19 – 35.
Walden gradually realised they were in a dog fight and when Shelford scored their fourth to narrow the gap to only 11 points with still 15mins on the clock it was on the cards for a great comeback by the home team.
But Walden started to play more tactically and pinned Shelford into their own half, they probably should have put the game safe as they worked the ball up to the try line with a series of close range pick and drives, only for a bit of white line fever as a player tried to stretch out to score, however the Ref blowed for a double movement.
However Walden held on to the end, securing their place in the County Semi Finals.

If you fancy getting involved we are always on the look out for new players to play either in the first team in London 2NE or the Saxons (2nd team) in Eastern Counties 1West, if you are interested in joining our friendly club please contact either info@swrfc.co.uk or graham.marshall2@ntlworld.com

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Match details

Match date

Sat 30, Nov 2019

Kickoff

14:00

Competition

Cambridgeshire County cup 19-20