Shelford on song to earn Southend success on new pitch
Charlie Parkhouse grabs four tries
Charlie Parkhouse surged in for four tries as Shelford’s new era at the Davey Field started with a 60-10 win over Southend Saxons in National League Three, London & SE.
It was the first home game for new head coach Mike Gillick and it was the first match on the new artificial pitch.
And it could hardly have got off to a better start as captain Richy McIver charged down a clearing kick after 49 seconds and then picked up the loose ball to score. Josh Simmons landed the conversion.
There was a brief spell where Southend tried to take the game to Shelford, but they were able to stifle the threat, and the second try came in the 23rd minute.
Good work along the line saw the ball reach Shingai Chiwanga, who spotted the gap, stepped inside on to his right foot, and then burst clear to touch down, with Simmons adding the extras.
The set piece was also functioning well, and from a line-out, Shelford worked the phases for Parkhouse to go over the line from close range for his first try.
Simmons landed a penalty after 34 minutes to make it 22-0, and then a fluid running move saw Parkshouse and Simon Hrbek exchange passes for the winger to race clear for his second try.
McIver produced another power play in the first minute of extra time to get his second score, with Simmons converting.
Then a great steal at a line-out by Sam Jolly led to play being moved along the line, with Grant Anderson passing to Hrbek, who draw the last man to put in Parkhouse to complete his hat-trick for a 39-0 lead at half time.
The second half was not very old when Tom Lucas produced a superb pass on the floor to set up centre partner Anderson to charge through for Shelford’s seventh try, which Simmons converted.
More good work from McIver led to an off-load for Parkhouse to step inside his opponent to touch down his fourth try, with Simmons’ extras making it 53-0.
Lewis Cracknell then made a great break deep into Southend territory, and when he was halted, Shelford spread the play from right to left for Hrbek to take the last pass to score in the corner, and Simmons landed his sixth conversion.
The only complaint may be that Shelford then allowed their opponents back into the game in the closing stages.
And from the only two penalties they conceded all match, Southend scored two tries, with first Chris Sheilds and then Bert Radzeivicius touching down in the last five minutes.
But Gillick will be encouraged by what he saw of Shelford on the first outing on their new home surface, and rightly so.
Shelford: Hrbek; Chiwanga, Lucas, G Anderson, Parkhouse; Simmons, Kevan; Gregerson, Gardner, M Anderson, Jolly, Jackowski, Newberry, Mongston, McIver.
Replacements: Reilly, Watts, Cracknell.
Southend Saxons: O’Brien; Radzevicus, Johnson, Vaughan, Griffiths; Dobson, Lewis; Lopez, Forster-Knight, Bailey, Allen, Newton, Sheilds, Morrison, Cann.
Replacements: Skidmore, Maggiolo, Navarro.
Scorers: 1min McIver try – Simmons con (7-0), 23 Chiwanga try – Simmons con (14-0), 28 Parkhouse try (19-0), 34 Simmons pen (22-0), 37 Parkhouse try (27-0), 40+1 McIver try – Simmons con (34-0), 40+4 Parkhouse try (39-0), 43 G Anderson try – Simmons con (46-0), 50 Parkhouse try – Simmons con (53-0), 69 Hrbek try – Simmons con (60-0), 75 Sheilds try (60-5), 80+2 Radzevicius try (60-10).
Referee: Samuel Phillips.