(By the Report Monkey)
The 3s travelled the long journey to Shelford for a friendly against a side that had shown great improvement over recent months.
Before I get to the game I thought I should mention that my score does not match the official score (61-12) due to there being an extra try scored by my count.
Cantabs kicked off and great pressure by the forwards led to a spillage and a chance for the mighty 8 to put in an early demonstration of the power they would be putting into every scrum. The Cs kept the pressure on pushing them closer and closer to the line through strong running, and following a well walked scrum from 5m out the ball found its way to Deller who muscled through the to open the scores (Sir displayed some good humour in meeting their protests of a dropped ball with a visit to the "TMO"), Lovett's boot notching the extras 0-7.
Craig was next on the board, good team pressure got us got us into their half and some classic dance moves saw the "Little squaddie" round several defenders before blasting his way home . The kick hit the sticks for Lovett's only miss of the day, 0-12.
The next try came straight from the kick off as Deller took the catch, and proceeded to use a combination of power and navigation (apparently sir said he thought Deller was trying to escape a maze), to bypass their entire team! 2 or 3 support runners were with him to the end but they went unused a he finished off under the sticks. 0-19.
Shelford had been applying the pressure themselves (on the rare occasions they had the ball), and from a pen they used the wind well to pin us back inside our 22. During their attack a game of handbags broke out in-front of our posts, with the game still live however this left Peter with a 5 on 1 overlap that he (unsurprisingly) failed to defend! A couple of "totally un-biased" Cantabs supporters did tell me their may have been a knock-on on the way to the line, but the score to me was a fair lesson in maintaining discipline even when playing against Clem (or to use his tribal name BFC). 5-19.
I believe it was Steve up next on the scoreboard, after some great work around the park a well deserved reward. If memory serves me correctly Steve found himself with the pill outside their 22, he proceeded to break though a couple of tackles, then showed that forwards can put a step in as he jinked the last man to dot down. 5-26. And the end of the half.
One of my favourite moments of the half has to be Deller's kick return, but Peter running at and sitting down forwards when he had the ball in hand is a close second.
Changes at HT, Matt, Jon, Owen, Chris and Mark on, Peter, Steve, Scott, Robbo and myself taking a rest.
As always apologies if I get the order/manner of the scores wrong, but from my memory it was Chris who scored the opener of the second half, with the team pushing forward well as a unit and "shake and bake" dictating the play well, Cantabs spread their defence well and as the ball was shipped from one side to the other Chris made a thundering (5m) run, to start the second half as the 1st had finished. 5-33.
Next I believe was another run, run, sidestep, run, dance, look for support, ignore support, run, dance ,score from Craig. 5-40. (extras from Guns on this one)
Darren and been threatening to score all game so far with many a thundering break needing several men to bring him down, and it was on one such break that they just did not have enough men to stop him as he ploughed his way though their ranks and over the line. 5-47.
Then came for many the talking point of the game, as their aged (his words) full back put in the try saving tackle of his career when he sat down a running Mark ("mongo"). I'm pretty sure he is probably still smiling over that one, I know I would be.
The move was not wasted as the support joined in and Darren (I think) was on hand to make the last few yards. 5-54 (extras from Guns again)
Craig rounded off his hat-trick with a break from the halfway line, and ran the straightest I have ever seen him run (with a mild arch round their full back), his dot down was a bit too wide out for Lovett to be able to compensate for the breeze 5-59.
Scott returned to the field as Mark's back was still not 100%.
Next up was a try for Tim, very similarly scored to Chris's at the start of the half (with a good boot and good forward pressure pushing us to the line), this time the ball found Tim lurking in the centres, and with 5m to go and only 3 men to beat it was never going to leave his hands. He powered through and opened his 3s scoring account (better late than never). 5-66.
Not to be left too far behind Shelford responded after they gained enough momentum to pin us back and when a pen put us defending our line the ball found its way to their power centre with just too much momentum to stop.
As we were due to restart one of their men suffered a injury returning the ball to us, and with 5ish minutes to play the game was called.
With so many tries this week it would be easy to miss out the guys that put in the hard graft that made them all possible. Tozer, Justin, Janos, Owen and Scott all using their particular talents to great affect, Robbo and Thom combining well attacking and defending (though Thom brought his butter fingers again this week). And some great runs from Matt, Peter and Jon on the wings making some good runs.
Fair play to Shelford who had been let down on the day by a few players, the score could have been a lot higher if they hadn't have refused to give in.
And thank you to all the players who made themselves available, it was great to be able to only play players who had already represented the 3s this season.
After the game we all sped over the Cantabs to watch the 1s put on a fantastic display of rugby that saw them earn promotion.
The 3 team circle at the end of their match showing the Cantabs spirit that has generated this truly fantastic season for the blue and white.
MoM with the performances put in by every man this week is no easier than any other in MoM selection, but for his all round play and that kick return try Deller take a bow.
DoD no major mess ups to award this week, could have picked Mark for opting to run straight and getting stopped (but it was a good tackle too be fair), but this week for letting the BFC distract him from an otherwise exemplary game - Darren.