After last weeks disappointing loss Shipston came into their second Preseason friendly with a desire to improve on their performance from last week. With the game to be broken up into 4x 20 minute quarters things didn't start well in the first 20 minutes. Whilst Shipston tried to run their lines and set a pattern to their play they rushed things. The rushing caused mistakes and the overall pattern became fractured and disrupted. Fortunately for Shipston, Alcester were not able to capitalise on this initial confusion and Shipston had enough time for back row Harry Barnard to make a crashing support run and score just to the left of the posts. Sam Cooper then scored the first of many points he scored in the match converting easily. Alceter hit back with their own try and conversion but it was to be their last of the evening.
The second quarter brought some much needed stability to the game. The Shipston front row of Ben Haines, captain Matt Corby and Andy Hunt easily bossed their opposite numbers in the Alcester pack and the Shipston grunt started to have effect. First a crash from big second row Jack Coupland saw an offload into the hands of Harry Barnard again to score his second, again Sam Cooper converted.
By the end of the third quarter it became apparent that the Shipston forwards had done all their work and it was time to release the fast Shipston backs. Centre Tommy Barry had spent all game making crashing runs and absorbing big hits and was soon able to feed the wings for the scoring to start. Trys came fast and often from the backs of Sam Cooper, Dan Taylor and James Organ. Into the final quarter and soon Josh Bird and even Captain Matt Corby got in on the scoring.
Alcester had had enough and the ref cut short the game after 70 minutes, as a training match it had done its purpose. The Shipston coaches of Alex Ray and Adam Renardson were happy. They will want to work on the defense and that poor opening 20 minutes but one thing they did highlight was the substitutes. All of the subs who came on during the match made a difference and moved the team forwards with especial mentions to Will Seys, Robert Easton and Ben Loveridge for their sterling work in the pack.
At the end though Alex Ray could only decide on one man of the match and it went to George Minogue who playing slightly out of position in second row was devastating in his runs and worked tirelessly around the pitch all evening.