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Shelford end difficult campaign on a high by beating Dorking in London & SE Premier

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Action from Shelford's win over Dorking in London League 2NE. Picture: Mike Harris (8381232)
Action from Shelford's win over Dorking in London League 2NE. Picture: Mike Harris (8381232)

Lewis Cracknell’s conversion proved all-important as Shelford ended a long and difficult season with a 28-27 win over Dorking in London & SE Premier.

They showed early promise at the Davey Field against mid-table Dorking, but it was the visitors who got the opening score through a converted try after five minutes.

Shelford heads did not drop and they were back on level terms when Luca Martinelli drove over from close range, with Cracknell adding the extras.

Less than a minute later, Mike Gillick took advantage of a turnover ball with a well-weighted kick to put in Tom Duffy to touch down, and Cracknell landed the conversion from the touchline.

Dorking responded with an unconverted try, but Shelford gave themselves some breathing space at half time through Luke Mongston, with Cracknell kicking the extras to make it 21-12.

The visitors kicked a penalty at the start of the second half, and it was soon followed by a converted try to give them a 22-21 lead.

A period of great running rugby from Shelford resulted in Alex Long scoring a superb try, and Cracknell kept his 100 per cent kicking record with the conversion to make it 28-22.

Dorking responded with another unconverted try, and Shelford’s defence then held strong as they earned only their second win of the season.

Defences were also on top as Shelford under-15s took part in the Colchester Festival.

In the opening match, Josh Barrett was held up and Harry Calne was tackled at the last as they drew 0-0 with Colchester.

A missed tackle led to the only try of the game as they lost 7-0 to Aylesford, but they bounced back as Ryley Stiebrins-Brown scored what turned out to be Shelford’s only try of the day in a 7-0 win over Brentwood.

In their final match, they drew 0-0 with Old Brentwood which meant they went into the trophy and plate play-offs to face North Walsham.

Territory was in Shelford’s favour but a momentary lapse let in their opponents to touch down the only try in a 5-0 defeat.

It set up a second clash with Old Brentwood in the third/fourth place play-off match, but two breaks on the wing saw Shelford suffer a 10-0 defeat.

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