Grove Colts rue slow start and absentees at Shipston
Strong patches fail to offset sleepy starts and re-shuffled side
With a few absentees in key positions, a re-shuffled team travelled to Shipston keen to continue with recent improved form. Unfortunately, a couple of mis-tackles led to an early score for the hosts that Grove never really recovered from. Another period of pressure and some poor defensive discipline from Grove allowed Shipston to breech the defence to lead 10-0. Finally, Grove appeared to wake up and a failed kick to the corner that was tapped back into play led to some good phases in the Shipston 22. The ball was then passed out and Chris broke a couple of tackles to score under the posts, which Ethan converted.
In the second half, Grove again started slowly, and allowed Shipston too much possession and continued phases in the red zone, which finally breached a more disciplined defence to lead 17-7. For the next 15 minutes, Grove again played some more structured rugby, and, finally, Tom broke a few tackles to score, which was unconverted to at least give Grove the bonus point.
In balance, Shipston were the better team on the day, with players missing not helping the Grove cause, as we struggled to secure enough ball in a competitive forward battle that led to difficult ball for the backs to work with.
[Report by Matt]