[quote_left]This was a very good game of rugby, by any standards.[/quote_left]
The Wild Geese kicked off playing into a strong wind and Shelford, not surprisingly, took the lead within 5 minutes with a try. The Wild Geese responded within 5 minutes, with a penalty goal from full-back Ollie Turner and took the lead after 20 minutes, when left-wing George Owen scored a try, converted by Ollie Turner. Shelford responded with two penalty goals before half-time, to leave the interval score at 11-10 in their favour. This looked like a very reasonable score for the Wild Geese, considering that they now had the elements in their favour.
[blockquote]Report from John S Hunter[/blockquote]
The second half turned into an even better battle, as Shelford – with their competent recycling of the ball and good use of possession – kept the pressure on, which meant that the Wild Geese defence was tested, but not found wanting. The Wild Geese took the lead again, with a try by out-half Peter Hodginkson after 8 minutes, but this was to be short-lived; 4 minutes later Shelford scored a try, which was converted, and repeated the dose 2 minutes later to take a 25-15 lead.
Ollie Turner helped claw the way back with two penalty goals on the 22nd and 27th minute marks. Centre Seb Rodwell scored a try after 28 minutes, converted by Ollie Turner, to take the Wild Geese back into a 28-25 lead. Shelford responded with a try in the 38th minute of the half, to retake the lead, and kept possession expertly in running down the clock. However, in the 3rd minute of injury time, Ollie Turner punished them for an indiscretion, when he kicked a penalty goal from 1 metre inside the Shelford half, showing an ice-cool temperament, to give the Wild Geese victory by the narrowest of margins, with a 31-30 score-line.
This was a very good game of rugby, by any standards, and credit to Shelford who played their full part in it. However, the Wild Geese again showed patience, which is the mark of a good team, and confidence in their ability to carve out victories. This victory keeps the Wild Geese at the head of the National Div. 3 league table: long may this continue!
All images © Nick Moore and reproduced with permission