Sat 21
1st XV


By Gary Bonsor
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Best performance of the season see's off neighbour's

Shipston welcomed their neighbour's Southam to Mayo Road in a very important game for the Ram's which would have a great bearing on whether Shipston would continue in this league.An enjoyable VP lunch preceded events as both team's took to the field.
With the visitor's winning easily back in November 46-21 Shipston knew they were in for a battle,but right from kick off both team's throw everything at each other and it was clear it was going to be a close contest.
Southam drew first blood in the 18 minute when they used their useful back's and spun the ball out right for them to score in the corner-this was well converted from far out to give them a 0-7 lead.
But Shipston battled back and with the scrum that was pushed off every ball at Southam giving the visitor's a taste of their own medicine grew in confidence and stopped the visitor's from increasing the lead with the slope and wind advantage.
Shipston just couldn't break through Southam's defence-but on 31 minutes Tom Corby decided to take things into his own hands and picked up a loose ball on the 22 and crashed and bounced off several tackles to score a great try which Rob James converted 7-7.
The Ram's held on until half time with again the front row of Ben Haines,Andy Hunt and the evergreen Graham Eastgate being more than a match against a bigger front row.
The second half proved again that there was nothing between the 2 sides-but on 48 minutes Southam gave away a penalty in front of the post's which Rob James easily converted to give Shipston the lead 10-7.
With the clock moving on it was unclear whether that either side would manage another score in this tight game-but on 69 minutes Charlie Speechley picked up a loose ball on the 22 and used his dancing feet to score a fantastic individual try in the corner leaving the visitor's arguing with each other to who should have tackled him.15-7.
At this point Southam throw everything at Shipston and their pressure resulted in Mark Jervis receiving a yellow card for killing the ball.So down to 14 for the rest of the match,Southam used their extra man which resulted in them closing the gap with a well converted try 15-14.
For the final few minutes Shipston held on and showed great character to record a fine victory.15-14.
Very difficult to choose a man of the match as all 15 and the bench were outstanding-but it has to be big Ben Hopwood who was a colossus in the line out's and fired his fellow forward's on and on.
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Match details

Match date

Sat 21, Feb 2015



Meet time



Midlands 3 West (South)