Shipston entertained high flying Rugby Lions on a wet and miserable afternoon at Mayo Road on a day in which injuries again played a huge factor for the unlucky Rams. Harry Wells pulled up lame in the warm up with a bad back and both props - Alex Watton and Ben Haines - had to leave the field injured with a broken jaw and split head respectively. Add to that the removal of scrum half Sam Cooper with an injured elbow, the Rams had to endure large parts of the game with only 13 or 14 men on the pitch!
Shipston played with great heart and commitment throughout the match, making some courageous last gasp covering tackles, but in the end the lack of numbers on the park told for the home side and the Lions were able to exploit the obvious gaps out wide in the limited Shipston defence. The sides went in to half time with the score at 17-3 to the visitors, a Sam Cooper penalty the only score for Shipston against 3 tries from Rugby. With a faltering lineout, the Rams were unable to secure any meaningful possession and spent the majority of the half defending, but did show some glimpses with ball in hand and caused the lions a few problems of their own to deal with.
The second period never really got going for the home side and with the injuries piling up, it was tough work for the remaining players, as they had to try and scrap for anything they could to try and slow the Lions attack. Inevitably though the greater numbers would prove too much and the Lions breached the Shipston line another 6 times in the second half, with the added work load proving too much for the weary Rams. Despite the scoreline, the home side never gave up and continued to make tackles and mix it with the Lions at the break down, so credit must go to George Waywell's side for sticking to the task. Next week sees the Rams travel to lowly Pershore, where the will attempt to gain a much needed victory over their fellow league strugglers.