Winning County Cup run ends as U16s fall at final hurdle
Cambridge U16 edged out of cup clash by Shelford’s superior pace
Cambridge’s good run of form was always going to be tested by their local rivals and this proved to be the case in another entertaining derby encounter at Davey Field. On the day Shelford proved to be the better side winning the game with their sheer pace. Pace getting the ball out wide, pace coming off their defensive line and the pace of their intelligent decision making. This put pressure on the visitors from the start and it was only a matter of minutes before Shelford’s full back, Taylor Hein-Jones ran diagonally through several shirt-pulling tackles to score his first of several tries.
Cambridge soon hit back with an individual effort from Callum Hall - a perfectly timed grub kick behind the Peacock’s defence that he neatly gathered and grounded and was subsequently converted by the reliable boot of Richie Ellingham. For the first of many times Shelford answered immediately with a try of their own from the kickoff and they repeated the move from Cambridge’s kickoff, passing the ball out to the wings for a second unconverted try making the score 15:7. Cambridge eventually took up residency on Shelford’s try line and although denied in his first attempt, Kade Sylvester powered over the line for five points converted by Ellingham. Again Hein-Jones immediately came back catching the visitors napping with a fifty metre diagonal run, unhindered by any tackles and at half time the hosts were ahead 20:14.
In the second half both teams settled into their different styles of play. Cambridge dominated the scrum, kept their passes short and used individuals to punch holes in the defensive, whereas the hosts preferred to divert the ball quickly from the conflict areas out to their wingers and this proved to be the more effective strategy.
The Cambridge line out was not firing and from an error Hein-Jones was again released on the wing for one of his productive runs rewarding the hosts with another 7 points. After a the long passage of play in both halves the Cambridge forwards pressured Shelford's try-line at close quarters and eventually Ollie Roberts grounded the ball over the whitewash between three defenders. With only a few minutes remaining the visitors couldn’t find a way of pressing home their advantage and conceded another try resulting in a final score of 34:19.
Congratulation to Shelford for a deserved County Cup win and we look forward to our next encounter.