Shelford U15 Tigers vs Bishops Stortford Reds
Cool dry conditions welcomed the Shelford Tigers' visitors from Bishops Stortford for a long-awaited resumption of rivalries at the Davey Field on Sunday 20th October 2019.
The Tigers squad was depleted in numbers for this half-term fixture and following some tight early exchanges the Shelford U15 side went quickly behind to two converted scores by the visitors. The first score followed a knock on by the home side with Bishops Stortford Reds capitalising from good ball from the resulting scrum and a decisive line break that was finished well under the posts. The second try was an excellent score, which after a short period of Tigers pressure in the visitors 22 saw the Reds retake possession and kick the ball into the open space behind the Shelford back line, which was then neatly picked up by their extremely speedy right wing who ran in to touch down between the sticks.
At 14-nil behind the Tigers' heads could have dropped but they showed good spirit and quickly got on the scoreboard themselves after the visitors knocked on from the kick off and the home side's number 8, Kyal Edmonds, crossed over on the left from the resulting scrum; the difficult conversion chance was missed. There followed a period of tighter play in the middle before increasing Tigers pressure resulted in a charged down kick taken back over the Bishops Stortford line. Kyal was rewarded with his second score after getting over the whitewash from the resulting scrum, with the extras added by Tyler Bennet from the kicking tee. Shelford Tigers resisted further pressure from the kick off by the visitors and ended the half trailing by only two points, having creditably fought back into contention in an entertaining first half of competitive rugby.
Shelford Tigers started the second period strongly with Hayden Everitt making a characteristically strong break which looked sure to result in a score but the ball was knocked forward before the line. Further exchanges in the middle of the field resulted in a promising Tigers attack that unfortunately resulted in Shelford gifting their visitors another well-finished individual chance from their own half after a misjudged offload went into opposition hands and the fast break was not chased down. The resulting conversion from in front of the posts was converted and Shelford were again chasing the game. However, Tigers once more showed their spirit with a period of consolidated forwards possession in their opponents half before the ball was put through the backs hands and Tyler finished well from the wing on the right. The conversion was not taken but trailing 17-21, Shelford were again within a score of taking the lead. That was as close as Shelford Tigers would unfortunately get as they conceded a further converted try following a strong break by the visitors breached the Shelford back line and a period of concerted effort by Tigers in the last few minutes of the game close to the Bishops Stortford line was valiantly resisted.
The final score of Shelford Tigers 17 - Bishops Stortford Reds 28, was probably a fair reflection of the game with the Reds finishing all their chances well and Tigers competing throughout but ultimately coming up a little way short.