Colts progress to EC cup semi
By Carl Webster
Shelford hold on to a half time lead in a nervy second period
Shelford dominated possession and territory in the first half to take a well deserved lead into the break, but then seemed to switch off in the second as they let Bury back into the match. If not for some incredible goal line defence, Shelford would have let this match slip through their fingers.
Shelford started the match strongly, playing into the wind they controlled possession just well enough to keep the pressure on Bury. The pressure quickly told with Bury giving away a penalty in their own 22 and Michael Griffiths taking a quick tap to bring play on to the try line. Michael was unlucky to be held up over the line, then driven back into play, but good recycling allowed James Groser to pick up and score at the base of the right hand post, converted by James Gould. 7 - 0 after 7 minutes. The conditions prevented much open running rugby and Shelford played the conditions better, maintaining possession and when necessary using the boot to gain territory. With a Shelford territorial advantage Taimur Munir bagged the next score, Bury missing one tackle to allow Taimur through, converted by James Gould. 14 - 0 after 20 mins. Shelford should have used the advantage they had to get more points, but Bury hit back. Shelford were guilty of indiscipline allowing Bury to push up the pitch, then in the blink of an eye their winger was in at the corner and with the conversion they were back in the game, 14 - 7 after 22 mins and the score at half time.
With the wind at their backs in the second half Shelford should have used the conditions to their advantage, but despite some good kicks it just didn't happen. Both side's points in the second half were the results of mistakes, or indiscipline by the other side. Shelford extended their lead through a James Gould penalty after Bury were adjudged to have committed a no arms tackle in front of the posts. Then Shelford missed a series of tackles to allow Bury to advance up the pitch and score an uncovered try. 17 - 12 after 19 mins of the half. The scores were too close for comfort and neither side could let their concentration drop. For the spectators it became increasingly tense. Bury piled everything into attacking the Shelford line, but some superb tackling stopped their big forwards in their tracks. When it became clear they weren't crossing that line Bury tried to go through their backs but a loose pass cost them possession and the chance had gone. As the match moved into the final 10 mins the sides swapped penalties to take the score to 20 - 15 and despite more Bury pressure Shelford held out for the win.
Shelford squad: 1. Toby Carmichael, 2. Kai Land, 3. Joe McAdam, 4. Taimur Munir ( 1 try), 5. Finn Priddle, 6. Teddy Pope, 7. James Groser ( 1 try), 8. Michael Griffiths, 9. Tom Sims, 10. James Gould ( captain, 2 penalties, 2 conversions), 11. Jordan Barnes, 12. Osman Williams, 13. Jack Biard, 14. Ollie Jury, 15. Walter Watson, 16. Harry Quantrill, 17. Zain Tariq, 18. James Duffy, 19. Archie Calne, 20. Ronin Ashcroft