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Shelford turn on style in 13-try blitz to seal London League 1N title

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Will Cotterill hailed the way Shelford turned on the style to claim the London League 1N title with a crushing 69-12 win over Leighton Buzzard last Saturday.

Promotion was wrapped up two weeks ago, and they headed into the home game with the division’s basement side knowing that one win would seal the championship and they did just that in their final match of the campaign at the Davey Field.

Mike Gillick got a hat-trick of tries, Louie Tang and Charlie Baker grabbed two apiece and Will Buchanan, Jack Biard, Michael Dunnett and Jack Brosnan got one apiece. Lewis Cracknell landed six conversions and Harvey Taylor got one.

“It was a fantastic way to claim the title really,” said Cotterill, Shelford’s director of rugby.

“We’ve had amazing support this year so we wanted to put on a special show for them, and then we had a couple of colts transitioning to get their first senior rugby as well so we had a little bit to play for at the weekend and I think that resulted in one of our best attacking displays of the season. Sixty-nine points is our highest score.”

Cotterill was wondering if Shelford would keep their focus after securing the promotion with their win at Sudbury, but there has been absolutely no let-up.

“There was a lot of work keeping training enjoyable and upbeat, making sure that we were focused on winning the game so we could claim the league title,” said Cotterill.

“There was a lot of excitement and the boys were really up for it, and they really put on a show for the home crowd for the end of the season.”

There has been no chance for Cotterill to reflect on the campaign as a whole yet. But with a blank weekend over Easter, before travelling to Old Haberdasher for their final match on April 23, that opportunity will now arrive.

“I think this week we’ve got a very light week leading into Easter with no game, so I think this week will be a really good week to reflect,” said Cotterill.

“Now I can really start to focus on what we’d like to achieve next season and piecing together the puzzle.

“We knew we were getting promoted but we still wanted to win the league title so it’s been the focus for the last two weeks. Now that’s done, it’s going to be a case of reflection on this season and planning ahead for next.

“We’re going to have to step up again. It’s exciting. There are lots of things I’m starting to plan in my head, and now it’s just a case of getting that all down on paper and getting it approved by the board so we can crack on.”

He added: “When we play well, there is no doubt, in my mind, that we deserved to win the title and come out on top.”

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