It was a typical late autumn day on Saturday with strong gusts of wind and blustery rain all interspersed with patches of sun shine but the Shipston Rams continued their fine form with a good performance against Old Wheatlyeans. With fireworks in the air on a bonfire night weekend Shipston got things off to a bang when within 10minutes from the kick off the new Shipston scrum half Will Hammond upset the Old Wheatlyeans fringe defence. A lovely little snipe around the edge of the ruck saw Will leaping over the Old Wheats players to dot the ball down. It was a simple in front of the posts conversion for Tobi Faulkner and the scoring had started. 7-0. It wasn't long before the the Shipstons pressure again told and the Rams were awarded a penalty within the 22m and Tobi Faulkner again calmly stepped up to slot the score and set up a 10-0 lead. A solid scrum from the front three of Aaron Neal, James Pither and George Minogue saw the ball feed to the centre Tommy Barry. Tommy absorbed a few hits before offloading to his centre partner George Bird who scythed through the Wheats defence to dot down. Again Faulkner took the conversion nicely to bring the score up to 17-0 as the half ended.
A quick change of personnel at half time saw number 8 Oli Ball rested to avoid injury and the packed reshuffled with Harry Barnard moving backwards into 8 and Leo Brice coming on from the bench into the 2nd Row. Play restarted and the phases continued for a while with Shipston struggling to maintain any possession. This lack of ball meant that Shipston couldn't do anything much in the way of attack and were forced to defend solidly around the halfway line. Finally some pressure told and George Wilcock was able to force a turnover from the Old Wheats attack. Finally now the Old Wheats defence started to crack and the scores started to come. First George Bird made a huge smash in the middle of the park to get his second 22-0. Then a few phases later Shipston found themselves 10 metres out from the Old Wheats line. The defence was never going to stop a typical Harry Barnard freight train run from that distance and he added to the score line with an unconverted try to bring the score up to 27-0.
A quick turnover ball saw the ball feed wide to fullback Josh Bird. He feed winger Christoper Calcott who kicked through and chased up. Unfortunately the ball just bounced out of his reach and he couldnt dot it down. With 20 minutes on the clock things were looking good and another reshuffle saw Andy Hunt come on with George Minogue retiring after a blow to the head. Hard work across the pitch by winger Sam Cooper saw the ball feed to Will Seys who dotted down a converted try to bring the score up to 34-0. With the game drawing to a close winger Chris Calcott latched on to a beautifully weighted pass to smash over for the final score of the day. Tobi Fualkner again stepped up to convert and bring a close to things with the score standing at a healthy 41-0.
A good result for the Rams but the coaching team of Renardson and Rey did have words with the lads as they realised that the scoreline could have been that much higher again and too many chances had gone missed. Shipston continue hope to continue their fine form next week away to Rugby St.Andrews with a plan to avenge the painful defeat the Rams suffer there last season.