In surprisingly dry conditions Shelford welcomed Colchester to the Davey Field for another early season game before we get into the County Cup games from early November. As before, it was played over 3 thirds to allow both teams to rotate squads and try out different positions.
From the off Shelford put in a commanding performance, very much owning midfield and causing the opposition great frustration, which resulted in two cards for the visitors, one of each colour. Whenever the visitors had possession Shelford harried them into making mistakes with Freddie Sales winning a number of notable turnovers in defence. Outside the final score the match statistics very much reflected Shelford’s dominance from meters gained, minimal number of tackles missed and offloads in contact.
In the first period Will Rand opened the scoring, Harvey Taylor adding the conversion before Joe Gregory showed his trademark pace to cross, with Harvey Taylor on target again to open up an early 14-0 lead. Shelford were so quick to turn defence into attack and once again Joe Gregory steamed away to score out wide with Harvey Taylor putting over an excellent kick to follow. The home side’s dominance up front was rewarded once again when Will Rand crossed just before the break.
Plenty of substitutions in the second period knocked Shelford out of their rhythm and the game became quite scrappy for a while. Shelford extended their lead in bizarre fashion, taking a quick tap penalty 10 metres out and Harvey Taylor putting in a cross field kick, which sailed through the uprights and were credited with a drop goal. This seemed to click Shelford back into their stride and quickly added further tries through Henry Porter-Clarke and Ned Westbrooke. Right at the end of the period Will Edwards deserved to get on the scoresheet and the referee agreed as he was prevented from doing so illegally and awarded a penalty try.
In the final period Shelford never took their foot off the gas and the pace of Henry Porter-Clarke once again proved devastating and was only prevented from scoring out wide through an illegal tackle and the second penalty try of the game was given. Pace and speed of hands created the opportunity for Ned Gale to score a lovely try after multiple phases of play, with Harvey Taylor adding the extras that the score deserved. Penalty tries are clearly like London buses as a third one for Shelford came along shortly before the final whistle, to complete a 67-0 victory.