The sun shone as the game kicked off on a chilly Sunday morning at Claverdon. Shipston were on the front foot as soon as the ball was in play. They applied pressure and were camped on Claverdon’s try line within moments. Soon they forced the ball out of play and Shipston had the throw in. The throw in was perfect, ball gathered in and the forwards started their drive. Try! With Devon coming up with the ball.
Claverdon fought back, but Shipston’s defence was firm. The pressure then started to come from Shipston. They were awarded a scrum, and were eating Claverdon for breakfast in the forwards. The ball came out and headed to Charlie Yates who wove his way through the opposition to score out wide.
Claverdon responded positively and swiftly made ground, they passed the ball along the line and scored, converted. 7-10
The forwards were dominating the scrum, the lineout was secure and things were working well in the breakdown. The boys were pressurising Claverdon’s line and going through the phases. But at this stage of the game getting no reward for their efforts. Claverdon got the ball and ran from their own 22 breaking through a number of our defenders to score a lovely try, which was converted. Shipston quickly responded and the ball headed out to Sam on the wing, and our flyer ran through and round Claverdon’s defence to score under the post. Converted by George H. 14-17
Again Shipston were swift from the restart. Charlie Yates send the ball out wide to George H who ran the length of the pitch to score, which he duly converted. Not bad for a second row (!) Then they reversed roles and George H passed out to Joe who ploughed his way up field, he was tackled and the ball was quickly distributed out to Charlie Yates who pinned back his ears to score. 14-29 at Half Time.
The second half started well with Shipston looking strong. Another good lineout saw Harrison knock the ball back to Zak, who recovered well and moved forward, passed out to George H who ran in for his second of the afternoon. The conversion hitting the posts (I’m sure they moved). 14-34
The boys looked in control, against able opposition. There was some lovely work in the breakdown, tackling was effective, there was plenty of disruptive play. Shipston were attacking again, this time George ran along the back line, eyes fixed on Sam, with the stage whisper ‘switch’! Sam obliges and makes good ground. Then they’re off again and this time George dummies his way up the pitch (Sam on his shoulder) and goes over again for his hat trick. Ably converted to make the score 14-41.
The match wasn’t over yet and the game was being played at some pace. Jonno, Jack and Harrison were impressive driving forward. However Claverdon weren’t done and stationed themselves in our 22. They were relentless and attacking hard, eventually breaking through for a well run in try, which they converted. As ever Shipston were back to it and as the time ebbed away Will Flynn did a brilliant kick chase which ended up in touch giving us the put in. Very nice work. From the lineout Shipston attacked Claverdon’s line. There was a breakdown just outside the 5m and Timmy, for once not distributing it out, picked up the ball and scored a super try, which George converted in the last move of the game. Final score 21-48.
This week’s misdemeanours (and beware the end of season is nigh and the penalties are mounting)
Charlie B. For wearing shorts that look much too similar to Stratford’s and general jelly baby mishandling.
Devon. Not only for excessive feistiness (while grinning) on the pitch, but also for unforgivable hair flicking after every tackle, breakdown and scrum he participated in. Vain is an understatement.
George H. For acting up and attention seeking. Dummies, stage whispers, a hat trick, pretending he’s a back instead of a second row.
Sam. For being too quiet and failing to tell his team mates that he was ready to let his sassy new boots carry him up the field and score.
Charlie Yates. For being a part timer.