Berkshire Shire Hall 27 – 3 Chipping Norton


Shire Hall welcomed Chipping Norton to the Berkshire County Sports Ground on Saturday looking to maintain their 100% home record and cement their position as 3rd in the table.
Chipping Norton who won by a large margin in the away fixture might have expected another easy ride when they kicked an early penalty to take a 3-0 lead on 5 minutes. This was not to be the case as a Shire Hall pack who were dominant in the set piece were able to take control for the remaining 75 minutes.
A rolling maul on 10 minutes marched the Chippy pack from the 22 to their own goal line and from the ensuing phase play Andy Carson crashed his way over in the corner for an unconverted try (5-3). Rhys Stewart slotted a penalty over on 15 minutes to bring the score to 8-3 and it was his clever chip through on 25 minutes that forced the Chippy full back to take the ball over his own line for a Shire Hall 5 metre scrum. The Shire scrum which dominated all day was able to walk the opposition over their line with David Lloyd Williams controlling at the base before grounding for a converted try (15-3).
The remainder of the first half and start of the second half remained an attritional affair with most of the play taking place between the 22’s. It was on 60 minutes with Chipping Norton reduced to 14 men (yellow card) that Shire Hall struck again. Taking advantage of the extra man Shire Hall camped in the Chipping Norton 22 and after a series of tight phases the defence was eventually unlocked when the ball was spun wide and Chris Walker’s looping miss pass was dotted down in the corner by Rhys Stewart, 20-3.
Shire Hall now chased the bonus point try and with 5 minutes to go they secured it. After another prolonged period of pressure on the Chipping Norton line the irrepressible Jack Proctor eventually breached the defence taking two men with him before somehow grounding the ball (no TMO was on hand to examine claims of a double movement), 27-3. Shire Hall almost had time to add one more try, however Lenny Pitt was adjudged to have just been put into touch (highlighted by Shire Hall’s very own TMO, line judge Phil Merrin) before dotting down. Final score 27-3.
Whilst the scoreline suggests a one sided affair Chipping Norton were competitive throughout and always looked a threat in open play. It was testament to Shire Hall’s 80 minute performance that they were able to control the game and nullify opposition’s attacking threats.
Jack Proctor was awarded Man of the Match for his strong running and physical scrummaging (labels that could be applied to every forward), whilst Neil Evans was deemed DOTD for his attempted cameo at scrum half.


Selection for Saturday 14th January vs Chipping Norton (Home)

Opposition: Chipping Norton
Competition: League
Venue: Home
Kick off: 2.30
Meet time at the club: 1.15

Players that arrive later than the meet time will be asked to donate £5 to the tour fund
Dress: Number 1s
Carried item: Banana

1. Eric Murray
2. Jack Proctor
3. Matt Margot
4. Chris Harber
5. Andy Carson
6. Ollie Homan-Green
7. Rich Clarke (c)
8. Dave Lloyd-Williams
9. Pat McGuigan
10. Dave Tridgell
11. Rhys Stewart
12. Chris Walker
13. Luke Jellicoe
14. Rhys Thomas
15. Alex Webb

16. Neil Evans
17. Geoff O’Brien
18. Luke Barefoot
19. Chris Merrick
20. Lenny Pitt
21. Kieran Jenkins

Shire Hall Star on BT Sport Rugby Tonight

A fine representation of the club appeared on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight this evening. A few pictures taken (albeit from my TV!)
If you look closely, you can see DLW’s shiner!

Selection for Saturday 7th January vs High Wycombe III (Away)

Opposition: High Wycombe III
Competition: Friendly
Venue: Away
Kick off: 2.00
Meet time at the club: 12.15
Meet time at High Wycombe: 1.00
Players that arrive later than the meet time will be asked to donate £5 to the tour fund
Dress: Number 1s
Carried item: A bottle of water to help prevent their club house from catching fire again

1. Eric Murray
2. Tom Birch
3. Matt Margot
4. Andy Carson
5. Ollie Homan-Green
6. Dave Holmes
7. Rich Clarke (C)
8. Dave Lloyd-Williams
9. Luke Barefoot
10. Dave Tridgell
11. Rhys Stewart
12. Chris Walker
13. Rhys Thomas
14. Chris Merrick
15. Alex Webb

16. Neil Evans
17. Geoff O’Brien
18. Pat Mcguigan
19. Lenny Pitt

Abridged Match Report – Aldermaston 5 Shire Hall 18

Aldermaston 5  Shire Hall 18

– Sustained period of pressure straight from the kick-off. Lots of territory and possession in the Aldermaston half with the home side unable to find an escape route. Shire Full Back Webby kept fielding the clearing kicks and running it straight back at them.

– The line was eventually broken after an organised driving maul and hooker Jack flopped over, to raucous delight and much punching of the floor, after about 30 minutes.

– Scrums and lineouts aplenty in wet foggy muddy conditions.

– Half time perilously close with another score a penalty from Shire kicker Rhys Stewart (8-0). Half time focussed on making the most of the possession and converting.

– Second half Aldermaston got a bit more ball and finally managed a foray into Shire Hall territory. But to no avail.

– Prop and VC Matt Margot, a threat all game, crashes over in the second half for a try, with his bro Stef Margot (centre) bagging one about 10 minutes later. On roughly 76 mins.

– Shire Hall pushed for the 4th try and  bonus point but dropping the ball from the restart gave Aldermaston possession.

– Aldermaston got a consolation try in the last play of the game by the outside centre.

– 5 wins out of last 6 games, only narrowly losing to runaway league leaders Littlemore.

– 3rd in table!!

Man Of The Match: Jack Proctor

DOTD: Alex Webb for failing to outsprint a large prop!