Colts lose to Chelmsford
Errors cost the colts
This is a match Shelford should have won, but errors and white line fever meant they spurned too many chances. Despite defending strongly most of the match those errors put too much pressure on the defensive line at critical moments.
Shelford started strongly, retaining possession and pressuring the Chelmsford defence. That pressure resulted in a penalty for offside and Walter Watson stepped up to convert, 0 - 3 after only 1 minute. Shelford then offered Chelmsford an immediate chance to draw level, flopping off their feet at a ruck in front of the posts. Chelmsford decided to kick for touch and Shelford's defence held firm, repelling the attack. Shelford cleared and again put enormous pressure on the Chelmsford defence, a series of phases bringing them onto the Chelmsford line. Just when patience and team work was required white line fever took over and the chance was lost. The match was becoming increasingly scrappy from both sides, and perhaps because of the resulting frustration a few tackles started to become borderline in their legality, high and dangerous. Shelford were lucky to keep 15 players on the pitch and perhaps the warning from the ref unsettled them as Chelmsford were next to score 7 - 3 after 24 mins. As the half drew to a close Shelford needed points to stay in the game and lifted their game. Chelmsford conceded a penalty just inside their 10m line 6m in from touch. Bizarrely, Shelford opted for the kick at goal, a difficult chance in perfect conditions, but with the strong cross wind a real challenge. Not for Walter Watson, 7 - 6 on 32 mins and the score at half time.
Shelford took their momentum into the second half Chelmsford ruck defence seemed to disappear and Shelford took advantage with some great decisions to pick and go through the middle of the ruck. This created space outside and Bart Lowden made a great run down the left flank. Scrum half Rob Armer stayed in support and when the fullback committed to the tackle Bart's inside pass found Rob at full tilt for a run in under the posts. Shelford looking in control at 7 - 13 after 3 mins. However, Shelford then copied Chelmsford's ruck defence allowing them back into the game, pick and go through the middle of the ruck seemed the latest craze, 14 - 13 after 14 min. Both sides looked to build phases but forward passes, dropped balls and knock ons scuppered attacking moves. With time running out the next score was likely to be decisive, and it was Chelmsford that snatched the score. Shelford conceded possession, then a penalty for offside, the resulting pressure allowed Chelmsford to score in the right corner on 27 min. The conversion was missed meaning Shelford had 8 minutes to grab a converted try to win, a feat they weren't able to pull off. And a disappointing loss was the result.
Shelford squad: Robert Armer (1 try), Ronin Ashcroft, Archie Calne, Toby Carmichael , James Fraser, Jacob Freer, Bart Lowden , Joe McAdam, Miguel Meirim, Caleb Morris, Ben Newman, Cameron Patullo, Finn Priddle, Harry Quantrill, Alfie Salmon, Jack Smith, Zain Tariq, Oskar Tonkinson, Walter Watson (2 penalties, 1 conversion, man of the match)