The Exiles second fixture after the Christmas break saw them travel to local rivals Shelford for the second and final game against them in the 15/16 league. Despite a long warm up enabling them to get used to the freezing and muddy conditions the Exiles were slow to respond to a rejuvenated Shelford squad who have improved massively since the home fixture earlier in the season. Shelford started out well using the kicking game to their advantage on their very short pitch.
Scoring was opened by the Shelford captain Richard Cradock who with a combination of an accurate kick and a possibly fortunate bounce ran in the home side’s first try in the opening minutes of the game, this was followed by a conversion putting them 7 points to the good. The Exiles scrum was characteristically dominant leading to the opposition to request uncontested scrums at a very early stage of the game. A penalty conceded in the Exiles 22 allowed Shelford to end the first half with a 10 point advantage over the visitors. The game had been very close up to that point and it was clear to both sides that there was much to play for in the final 40 minutes.
A half time talk from captain Josh Cox led to the Exiles starting the second half with a renewed vigour. A characteristic crashing run by Exiles stalwart Ben Yeats gained a significant amount of territory ultimately getting the Exiles into the Shelford 22 where a penalty lead to Yeats breaking through the defence and opening the Exiles account for the day.
Following on from this the Exiles forwards continued to put pressure on their hosts and were soon rewarded with a try for Andy Soer, giving the Cambourne second row players a 100% scoring record for the day. This left the scores at 10 apiece with 20 minutes to go. Excellent defending from the backs stopped the home side from getting near the Exiles line for the remainder of the game.
With just four minutes on the clock the Exiles were awarded a penalty under the posts which number 9 Chris Wallis slotted home to give Cambourne a lead which despite significant pressure they were not to give up for the remainder of the day.
Final score Shelford 10: Cambourne 13
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Report - Ben Yeats