Sat 29
1st XV
Another Win For Shipston

Another Win For Shipston

By Matthew Corby
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The Rams win in tough conditions against a spirited Didcot RFC

Shipston maintained their strong home from on Saturday to win a difficult game against a spirited Didcot RFC who are in the midst of a relegation dogfight and scrapping for every point they can get. In tough and windy conditions it was never going to be a high scoring, free-flowing affair, but the Rams did enough when they needed to to get the job done and secure another 4 points as they battle near the top of the division.

The day didn't get off to the best start for the hosts as skipper Matt Corby and veteran loosehead Simon Baldwyn were ruled out of the game with illness, meaning that James Pither and Sam Treadgold came into the squad and the forwards were reshuffled to accommodate them. The late change didn't seem to have an effect on the game however as Pither in particular had a very good game coming in at hooker, securing lineout ball and looking busy around the park from the first whistle and Treadgold coming on in the second half to carry well and add some impetus going forward.

Against a very strong wind in the first half the Rams were cagey and struggled to get out of their own half, but they defended very resolutely and shut down any opportunity that Didcot thought they's sniffed out. They managed to create some opportunities of their own and scored a well worked try through Harry Clark to give themselves a 5-0 lead. The ball was won cleanly from a set piece and Tobi Faulkner, stepping in at fly half this week, released the back line to create an overlap for Clark, allowing him to race round and touch down for the opening score.

The Rams scored a second try before half time through the forwards, who took advantage of a break to get deep into Didcot's twenty-two and from there they camped down and worked the ball patiently through the phases. The ball was eventually picked up by Ben Summers at the base of the ruck who crashed over for the score, 10-0 to Shipston.

In the second half, with a strong wind at their backs, Shipston were able to use territory better and play the game in Didcot's half more and more. That said, the visitors made it difficult for the Rams to maintain any real pressure and a number of penalties in crucial positions let the away side off the hook on a number of occasions. The third try did come eventually though when the ball was popped up to the bullocking Thomas Page on the twenty-two metre line and he ploughed his way through a number of opposition tacklers to touch down for the third try of the game. The successful conversion gave the hosts a 17-0 lead with 15 minutes left to play.

From there on in the momentum shifted and it was pretty much all Didcot for the remainder of the match. The Rams had gotten on the wrong side of the referee and were giving away too many penalties, allowing the opposition cheap territory and possession. Much to Didcot's credit, they battled right until the final whistle and they scored two tries of their own at the death to grab a much needed and and well deserved bonus point. The final score was 17-12 to Shipston. The win leaves Shipston in 6th place in the table but only 5 points behind 3rd placed Marlow RFC and a game in hand on all the teams above them.

This weeks MOTM was jointly awarded to James Pither and Geogre Wilcock. Both had excellent games, carrying the ball relentlessly and defending extremely well. Pither especially deserves credit for the way he stepped up at very late notice and took his opportunity with both hands.

The Rams travel to Wallingford RFC this coming Saturday, looking to keep the momentum going in the push for possible promotion.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 29, Feb 2020




Wadworth 6X Southern Counties North

League position

Shipston on Stour