Ipswich fail to tackle Shelford

RUGBY UNION: Ipswich 3 Shelford 5. This was a disappointing match for Ipswich, after the heroics of two weeks ago when they defeated high-flying Bishop's Stortford.


Ipswich 3 Shelford 5

THIS was a disappointing match for Ipswich, after the heroics of two weeks ago when they defeated high-flying Bishop's Stortford.

Shelford started the stronger of the two sides, keeping possession well; they applied pressure on the home defence, probing for weaknesses.

Their aggressive number eight was the key to their game plan, and he ran well from the base of the scrums, despite Ipswich having early dominance in this department.

Shelford scored first during this opening period, following a good drive from the pack, after securing line-out ball five metres out, Ipswich could not hold the drive.

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The conversion was missed. The Shelford kicker also missed with two penalty attempts, both from offside decisions, as Ipswich tried to repel the Shelford attack.

The Ipswich pack were on top in the early exchanges, and in the scrummage Clarke, Williams and Holland were destroying the Shelford pack. It was through their power in the scrum the game began to turn.

Ipswich started to win more and more ball, the backs looked sharp, especially Novasad, who came in off his wing to make some devastating runs through the heart of the defence.

Ipswich were a little unlucky not to make more of his incursions, but passes did not quite go to hand, and opportunities went begging.

As the home side rallied in the second half, and ran the ball at every opportunity, Shelford started to kill the ball.

The referee did little to stop the infringements, and as Ipswich became frustrated, they took the law into their own hands, and were penalised.

The backs did create openings, and Brotherton in particular made a couple of half breaks.

But when they had the visitors stretched, Ipswich tried to force the pass, and Shelford intercepted.

Midway through the half Ipswich set up a maul from the line-out, and proceeded to drive to within two metres of the line.

Shelford tried to drop the maul twice, succeeding on the second occasion, but Ipswich's only reward was a penalty, when a penalty try must have been the right decision.

Hughes kicked the points to close the gap, but they could not threaten the visitors' line again.

Ipswich coach Guy Atherton said: "It was very frustrating.

"Shelford spoiled at every opportunity, and the referee did little to stop them. When we tried to discourage them, he penalised us.

"Having said that, we should be good enough to deal with it, we should have stayed on our feet, and controlled the ball better."

Hadleigh 5 Rochford 18

HADLEIGH effectively lost this home fixture against Rochford in London Three NE when they conceded 18 points in the first half-hour.

The referee lent nothing to the proceedings with unbiased inconsistency.

The first half was mostly spent by Hadleigh fending off waves of Rochford's attacks.

Conceding one try through a missed tackle, one through an unfortunate bounce and one where the ball was grounded out of sight of the referee, who awarded Rochford the score.

The pack, welcoming Stu Ledbetter and Iain Muirhead back to the fold, ran and supported well with ball in hand and had a try disallowed after apparently being held up over the line.

The half-time talk had the desired effect as they ran at the opposition.

Hadleigh still struggled in the set -piece scrum, although relentless pressure did produce a try in the left-hand corner for Iain Muirhead.

n Hadleigh 2nds were due to play Mersea at their ground in the league, but their pitch was waterlogged. Mersea agreed to travel to Hadleigh for a friendly, with the home team winning 35-7.

Hadleigh's efforts were rewarded with a try from scrum-half Alan Murray, stealing the ball out of Mersea's scrum and diving over.

There was an excellent line of run and score by inside centre Pete Kerr, then converted by full-back Nick Bray. Mersea roused a little resistance with John Squirrell converting a penalty.

Two second rows Toby Kemp and Marcello each scored and the latter converted his own try.

Sudbury 17 Diss 29

SUDBURY conceded too many penalties on Saturday to give third in the table Diss the points at Moorsfield.

Sudbury went behind to an early try when, from a penalty line out midway in the 22, Diss took the ball cleanly and shipped the ball wide through the backs for Gibb to score.

The Sudbury forwards had more success this week and Nick Atkinson claimed the first Sudbury try when, from a scrummage against the head, Sudbury pushed over from close range for a converted try to level the score. A penalty and another try from a line-out gave Diss the lead. Two further penalties kicked by Cayley provided Diss with a comfortable 21-7 lead at half-time.

Sudbury started the second-half well with Cooper catching well in the line and the pack driving over, only to be denied the points because the referee was unsighted, only to let Diss off the hook by giving away the penalty at the scrum for incorrect binding.

Two quick tries from Rob Pound gave Sudbury some hope, the first coming when the ball was passed infield and then switched back out to the wing.

Then immediately from the restart Scott Harries put up the high ball, the Diss wing fumbled the catch and the ball was hacked on for Pound to chase into the in-goal area.

A high tackle gave the Diss scrum- half a further kick at goal to increase his personal tally to 19 points.

Bury 27 Saffron Walden 8

BURY took on the league leaders Saffron Walden and from the kick-off they were under the cosh as Walden threw everything at them.

The Bury defence was outstanding, allowing the Walden side one penalty which was quickly erased by a well-struck Charlie Rook penalty.

The visitors were found wanting and the Bury forwards and backs started to combine well.

Chris Kent went in for the first try of the game, and Rook converted. After another penalty Bury went into the interval 13-3 up.

From the start of the second half Bury were fired up and once again ran straight at the Walden side in disarray as two players had been sin-binned for answering back.

Stacey Palumbo jinked his way in for Bury's second try, and again Rook converted.

From the kick-off a Walden player hit Justin Smythe in the air, which left the referee with no option but to send him off.

Bury again tightened the screw and came away with another try which was converted.

Walden came back into the game with a sharply-taken penalty which allowed the visitors to register a consolation try.