Shelford out to finish the season on a high against Tunbridge Wells
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 April 2018
Iliffe Media Ltd
Safety assured after Sutton & Epsom success
Mike Gillick is calling for Shelford to sign off with a flourish when they face Tunbridge Wells having all but secured their London & SE Premier Division status by beating Sutton & Epsom 49-31.
Tom Lucas’ hat-trick of tries, two from Charlie Parkhouse and one each from Rob Gardner and Teddy Hepworth helped them earn only their third away game of the season.
It was a result that saw Shelford pull five points clear of the relegation places with one game to play, and while not mathematically safe, they have a 196 superior points difference to Westcombe Park.
“We got the five points we needed and it was quite an enjoyable spectacle for those involved,” said head coach Gillick.
“We did rise to the occasion, there was quite a bit of emotion. We didn’t have that comfort cushion, it was now or never.
“The boys responded really well to that, with Tom Lucas and Will Lawson combining really nicely in the centres. The likes of Teddy Hepworth and Rob Gardner have really been growing this season and that was probably the best performance I have seen from both of them so I was really impressed.
“We started a little bit slow and conceded a fairly soft try but from then on in we never looked like losing really.
“We were in the ascendancy the whole game; it was just a couple of soft tries we gifted them and we had a couple of assists for their tries so it’s a bit frustrating.”
A bonus-point win at home against Tunbridge Wells this Saturday, and other results going their way, could see Shelford finish seventh, around the area that Gillick predicted when he took over midway through the campaign.
He added: “We’ve got to give the fans something to celebrate so we will hopefully finish with a flourish.
“I said at the beginning that it was the start of a building phase. We’ve proved that we can produce it, it’s now just making it more consistent.
“I want to finish on a high that leads into pre-season and then onto next season.”