Eton Manor suffer defeat to Shelford with depleted team

Eton Manor in action against Shelford 

Eton Manor in action against Shelford - Credit: Martin Pearl

Eton Manor suffered a narrow 19-15 defeat against second-placed Shelford with team selection hampered by the unavailability of a number of front-row forwards, a situation only made worse when substitute prop Geoff Hughes pulled up injured during the warm-up. 

Shelford won a lineout and drove forwards, but Alex Leo isolated the ball carrier and won a penalty.  

From 40 meters out and with the wind advantage, Cameron Dutch took a shot at goal which sailed through the middle of the posts, and after 14 minutes of play, Manor held a 3-0 lead.

At a Manor scrum, Shelford won the ball and moved it swiftly along their backline. They found a gap in Manor’s defence and went over for a well-deserved try, which was converted.  

Shelford again resumed their onslaught on Manor's defence, crossed for their second converted try and after 33 minutes had extended their lead to 14-3. 

Jake Kane anticipated a pass and managed to intercept the ball before showing a clean pair of heels to the chasing defenders as he raced under the posts from 35 meters out.

Dutch successfully converted to reduce the score to 14-10. 

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Manor kicked off the second half, but it wasn’t long before Shelford had an attacking lineout inside Manors 22, which they secured and eventually went over for an unconverted try 19-10. 

David Ogufere picked up off the base and made the initial hard yards before substitute fly-half Matt Kaye combined well with Scott Smith and Jack Sullivan came to the fore bashing through tackles.  

Odulaja added pace to the attack before feeding Smith, who from 15 meters out and drifted through a gap in the defensive line to score out wide.  

Dutch couldn’t add the extra points but at 19-15, Manor were right back in the game with 10 minutes still to play. 

Director of rugby Mark Farrell said: “A very tough day away to a very well supported and organised side.  

“The second half saw us come back and we played some really good rugby, getting into our attacking patterns we stretched our opposition and played the kind of high tempo game we know we are capable of, ultimately creating two really decent chances to take the points.” 

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