Bury St Edmunds RUFC U16 39 v Shelford RUFC U16 31
By Kirk Bonas
Cold Weather Collision
Shelford arrived at the IPA Haberdan for the first time in a couple of years, welcomed by seasonally cold conditions and the prospect of playing on the first team pitch which was fortunately free from frost. Shelford's recent results had shown how capable they were as a team, however external pressures e.g. exams, linked to availability meant today's game was required to be 13 aside contest.
Having not played for 6 weeks, initial play was as expected, frenetic and lacking control, however the team grew into the contest and secured the first score. Yet the lead was short lived as Shelford responded immediately with some strong running from their combative forwards, who caused problems throughout the game. Throughout the half the game swung in each direction, phases of good play from the team were compounded with moments of rusty play, where accuracy went missing, Shelford capitalised to leave the half time score 22-24 in their favour.
Following the interval the team responded extremely well, restoring the required structure and establishing a 39-24 lead. Excellent play in attack, both individually and collectively exploited the space out wide, whilst well organised defence restricted the impact of the Shelford runners until the final play, which resulted in a deserved interception consolation try under the posts, leaving the final score 39-31.
Thanks go to Shelford for providing excellent opposition, they never stopping running and competing throughout the game. Again, they demonstrated what a good team they are and it ensured that it was an enthralling, testosterone fuelled encounter soaked up by the crowd in the winter sun. Well played by all the team today, everyone played their part and contributed fully when called upon, phases of the play both in defence and attack were truly excellent, especially considering the long layoff. Next week will see the team travel to Sudbury.