Colchester Colts lose out to Shelford
Very competitive game with misleading scoreline
Many thanks must go to Shelford for agreeing to this fixture at short notice and for contributing to a fine game of rugby played in excellent spirit. The game was played over 3 x 30 minute periods to allow all players from the two large squads good playing time and to give the coaching teams the opportunity of looking at different combinations.
A very competitive opening period saw the game confined mainly to midfield with both try lines not seriously threatened. With both sides showing great commitment in the tackle and at the breakdown, continuity in attack was challenging but it was Shelford who enjoyed much better ball possession. Colchester's best opportunity came when winger Ollie Eaves was bundled into touch after taking advantage of some good backline play.
End of Period 1: Colchester 0 Shelford 0
Colchester regrouped after the interval and put together some constructive phased play to take the ball close to the Shelford line; an infringement unfortunately preventing the opening score. Back came Shelford with some pressure of their own; with going forward work and Colchester penalties moving the ball to the Colchester try line. Great defence relieved the pressure and a burst forward by prop Nathan Linscott brought some further relief but the away side were not to be denied and opening the scoring with a close range try shortly afterwards. Immediately from the restart however, Colchester responded with Eliott Adams diving over after being released by Alex Slater. Shortly afterwards, centre Tom Coates dived over in the corner to give the home side a deserved lead before, at the end of another very competitive passage of play, Shelford created an overlap to regain the lead with the last action of the second period.
End of Period 2: Colchester 10 Shelford 14
In the third period, Shelford utilised the playing conditions much better than Colchester had previously and also capitalised on some Colchester missed tackles to achieve their victory. After an initially well contested passage of play, the away side took control and kept Colchester penned back, creating four unanswered scores in the last 20 minutes of play to run out 10-38 winners - a scoreline which slightly flattered the away side, but nonetheless Shelford deserved their victory. Fair play to them and hopefully the two sides can meet later in the season.
End of Period 3: Colchester 10 Shelford 38