Just the two reports this year !
Old Leams 3rds 17
Shipston 3rds 30
Shipston travelled to OLs without regular captain and vice captain but with enough old timers to orchestrate a hard fought victory. The Rams were dominant at set pieces and it was from a line out in OLs 22 that the first score came. Richard Spencer caught, Johnny McGee added the impetus towards the line and flanker Ed Brooks claimed the touch down, his debut try for the 3s. An identical move moments later saw McGee inches short. Pyne added a penalty but OLs struck back to keep in touch at 5-8. A scrappy Ols lineout in their own 22 saw the ball go loose and it was hacked on by hooker Martin Goodman who won the race to the touch down. Once again OLs hit back with an unconverted try.
Shipston appeared to have a greater share of the possession but were too often guilty of poor handling or getting turned over at the rucks.
Dave Harrison made a barn storming run up the park, the Shipston pack set up a driving maul and made 30 metres, the ball eventually finding fly half Dave Graham to go over the line. Five minutes later, Shipston were two scores clear when Lee Williams ran half the length of the pitch to score by the posts. Pyne converted to make it 10-25.
From a scrum in the Shipston 22, the young OLs no8 picked up and virtually strolled over unopposed. From the restart, OLs failed to gather and Goodman scooped the ball up, broke through three tackles, sold a dummy and scored in the corner for his second try. Pyne missed the difficult kick with the last action of the game. Young centre Alex Seys made an impressive debut with some good angles of running.
Berks and Balsall II’s 5 – Shipston III’s 20
Having drawn 5-5 with Barker Butts in the opening league game of the season last week, Shipston III’s travelled to Berks and Balsall hoping to improve on their previous performance.
Shipston elected to take the slope and the wind in the first half, against a young looking Berkswell side. The Shipston pack’s back to basics approach paid off and Brian Hobill kicked his first penalty of the afternoon when Berkswell infringed on the edge of their 22 metre line. Shipston had the majority of territory in the first half and were rewarded with a well taken try by the ever busy Dave Graham. Berkswell looked dangerous when they had any opportunity to counter attack but some much improved tackling stopped them from converting this pressure into points. Carl Hamilton and Dave Graham looked very dangerous both in attack and defence and Shipston’s pack worked harder to get around the field and support their three quarters.
In the second half Shipston started brightly with the forwards driving into the opposition and recycling the ball well. Andy Cox and Martin Goodman caused the opposition problems. A Dave Graham interception try from half way eased the pressure on Shipston as Berkswell started to chase the game. Berkswell came back hard and Tom Jarvis made a fine covering tackle to deny Berkswell a try. Shipston’s pack let themselves down by gifting Berkswell a soft try from a 22 metre drop out, but then recovered well to close out the game.
Brian Hobill directed play well at fly half and had a good day with the boot, kicking two penalties and two conversions and narrowly missed a couple of drop goal attempts. Thanks to Rob Turner and Dan Hemmings who made their debuts for the side. Next week Shipston travel to Chipping Norton.