Title is the next target for Shelford after sealing promotion from London League 1N
Shelford ticked off primary objective No 1 with promotion from London League 1N – and now they are out to seal the title to cap a memorable season.
Two tries from Louie Tang, one each from Charlie Baker and Miles Anderson and 15 points from the boot of Lewis Cracknell sealed a 35-15 win over title rivals Sudbury.
“It was a fantastic win and a performance we’ve been trying to put together for the second half of the season,” said Shelford director of rugby Will Cotterill.
“We’ve been talking about consistency, improving our attacking rugby and scoring tries and the boys delivered the best performance of the season.
“They were brilliant at training, they were brilliant at preparing for the game and it all came to a head on the pitch and unfortunately Sudbury were on the wrong side of an excellent Shelford performance.”
Cotterill was pleasantly surprised by the manner of the win at their second-placed rivals, who were a point behind Shelford going into the game.
“I know how we can play, but I just thought the attack electric and the tempo was brilliant at times, but we always felt in control. Sometimes, when we try to attack with tempo and spread the ball, it can get a little bit messy and we can lose a little bit of control and shape, but we didn’t do that.
“It was always working well. It was lovely to watch.”
The victory means that Shelford have guaranteed promotion with three games to play.
“We were confident and we miscalculated a little bit earlier on as we thought Southend was the game but we still had a couple more points to grab,” said Cotterill.
“To secure promotion by beating Sudbury so convincingly was a double bonus for us.
“For the wider club and whole club promotion is the ultimate goal because it’s something that we’ve been working towards on and off the field. There is lots going on behind the scenes to make sure that when we do go up a league we can be sustainable.
“I think that’s why this weekend was so special for the squad. We earmarked being league leaders as a squad goal so we’ve still got a little bit of work to do to make sure that happens.”
Alongside promotion, Shelford had the other target of claiming the title.
With a six-point advantage over Sudbury and three games remaining, two wins would be enough.
“We all put our hands up in the air and said we’re going to win the league, we’re going to be the best team in the league,” said Cotterill.
“It’s like climbing to Mount Everest, getting to the peak is brilliant and we celebrate it, it’s a massive achievement, but then often a lot of the accidents happen on the way down.
“We need to be very careful coming back down now and over these next three games make sure we don’t trip ourselves up and let ourselves down by losing games that we really should win.”