A score line that belies the game
Boys played with increasing skill and confidence
A depleted squad of 17 made the trip on a cold grey morning to south Oxfordshire to take on a strong Chinnor team. From the first whistle you could see this was going to be a closely fought contest with neither team wanting to give an inch. Shipston pack may well have been giving away a fair amount of weight and height in the forwards but they gave nothing away in power and strength and with both teams looking good at the ruck the opening exchanges were going to and fro, Shipston started to throw the ball out and a strong run from George V put Shipston within 5 m of the home teams try line but a great covering tackle put us into touch, the next ten minutes was pretty much spent in the Chinnor 22 but for the odd kick clear which was soon returned a pace with the safe hands under a high ball of Will Flynn and good support play from all the backs getting the play back into Chinnor half giving the forwards a chance to force more ground. A turnover at the ruck on the Chinnor line gave them the chance to spend some time in the Shipston half and a clever kick through from Chinnor just goes over the dead ball before they can touch down to score so the deadlock still to be broken. The next phase of play has Shipston quickly work their way up field and ends with George V touching down in the corner for the first try, George H narrowly misses with the difficult conversion. A good kick through from George H with great speed and pressure from Henry Mac soon has a Shipston line out inside the Chinnor half but front the resulting line out a good move from the home team backs see’s them throwing the ball all the way down the line and they score out wide to level the scores , a great conversion puts the black and whites in from 7-5. This has given the home team a boost and they soon score their second try of the match which was not converted so scores now 12-5. We have never seen our boys give up and this was not going to be the first time for that as they exerted more pressure on Chinnor and as they tried to move the ball down the line a great interception from Henry Mac in the middle of the pitch allows him to run in and touch down under the posts also giving George H an easy conversion to level the scores 12-12, with both teams really going for it half times comes just at the right time with both teams starting to get waspy with each other.
A poor start to the second half for Shipston as the big no 6 for Chinnor makes a great break to gain 50 yards only to off load his teammate to dive over from a couple of yards out, the conversion was missed so the scores now 17-12, with Shipston’ s replacement’s Sam L and Zak C on at half time neither had any time to feel their way into the game as both were straight into the fray as if they had been on from the start, Shipston trying to exert more pressure on the ball and a charge down by Zak was unlucky not to lead to points but quick thinking from George H by taking a quick tap and feeding the unstoppable Charlie D to side step his way over the line for the next try which was converted so the scores now 17-19 in favour of Shipston. Joe Painter and Harry F tackling as usual like a steam train with great support from the rest of the pack but a Chinnor break away allows them to go over in the corner with some confusion as it seems they may have been in touch but try awarded so they regain the lead but don’t convert so scores now 22-19. Shipston power their way back into the Chinnor half and gain a penalty which in a league match you would probably take the point’s to even the scores but it says an awful lot about how well the boys were playing and also its good to see they backed themselves to win the game and opted to kick for touch and take a line out, with not long left on the clock a turn over gave the speedy Chinnor wing a chance to turn defence into attack and the ball was soon by the Shipston try line and along with a having a strong line out and driving maul the Chinnor lads were also adapt and a pick and go which resulted in them scoring again with the last play which was converted to give a final score of 29-19 to Chinnor.
The score line does not do us any favours as on another day with a couple of decisions that could of easily gone the other way the scores could have been reversed in favour of Shipston, but thems are the breaks so fair play Chinnor. If I was a bystander with no allegiances I would be saying a draw would have been the fair result in what was great game of hard fought rugby, it is difficult to write these as I do tend to get caught up in the play so I would like to state not one Shipston player did not play well today every one of you should be proud of today’s performance those Chinnor boys know that’s as tough a game as they will have had in a long time as was said to me by some of their parents, so heads up move onwards and upwards as this group of players is getting better and better and with good things happening with the senior teams Shipston RFC is really good club to be part of at the minute.