On a perfect day for rugby , the late Indian summer having finally disappeared , we assembled to get our season well and truly started . We had a great squad of players , mixing youth with experience and definitely size being our strength. We towered over the opposition and looked forward to another battle with our town and gown neighbours.
The start could not have gone better with a try almost immediately from number 8 Scott Conway, the home side already expected a win, the only question was by how many. Shelford had not brought their motor mouth piece with them so the game was played in good spirits with only occasional bouts of rugby banter!
We scored a second soon after with number 5 Craig Millar crashing over from great link up play between the forwards and backs. The Exiles overwhelming strength and size advantage meant Shelford were on the back foot for most of the game. The set pieces were solid with the lineout mainly being a 4 man affair so we had a good base for the backs to run off. Captain Josh out in the centres certainly made his weight advantage tell with crashing runs up the middle. We suffered a yellow card at one point with the official mistakenly sending the wrong man off - who said he needed to go to Specsavers. Ben Yeats was again a tower of strength in the loose.
We suffered an early injury to one of our props but we readjusted and continued to dominate the forwards to keep the score ticking over and in particular the running of our number 8 Scott from the base of the scrum was very effective.
The visitor's defence at times was stoic but it had to be or it would have been a 100 plus score line, a couple of 'slight' forward passes and dropped balls meant we did not monopolise on all the advantage we had. Shelford's sole try came when their back line taking advantage of a penalty close to the line. The Shelford number 10 in particular was ineffective (he looked too old to be playing at this level!) and only the strong defence of his centres and full back saved the day.
The Cambourne pack continued to dominate and the first half was ended with a decent haul of points on the board. The turnaround didn't change anything except the direction we were playing (!), the fantastic turf was a joy to play on with going to ground meaning a very soft landing indeed.
The visitors didn't score again and the Exiles continued in the same vein - possession / recycling / offloading and finally passing the ball down the line to our strong back line to go over again. The Exiles final try came at the death with a mistake by Shelford keeping the ball in play leading to our full back running the ball back at them with Craig Millar scoring to make the score line more like the actual game.
Tries : Josh Cox 2, Craig Millar 2, James Tully, Paul Greaves.
Conv : Lee Cook 3.
Report - Ben Yeats
Photos - Neil Ingham
For an alternative imaginative view of the match, read another report here.