Shottery 31 Alcester 2nds 17
SHOTTERY finished the formal part of their season with a good win against a decent Alcester side on Saturday as skipper Eugene Hickey signed off with a victory.
Alcester turned up a few players short but were made up to a full complement by their hosts – a decision which looked as though it was going to backfire as Alcester stormed into a 12-point lead inside the first ten minutes.
Shottery got on the scoreboard as centre Dan Crump stormed over the line, but within minutes they had fallen further behind as the Alcester skipper Rupert Ruffen was allowed to run the length of the pitch to score.
The Shottery defence was all over the place and, apart from number 8 Jonny Beaver, the pack was not securing any decent ball.
Andy Trigger, who was not playing due to a muscular injury, was sent to the changing room to put his kit on and his introduction to proceedings immediately seemed to steady the ship.
As half time approached, Crump barged over for his second try to reduce the deficit to five points.
With spectators Andy Greenway and Jean Gabere also being seconded into action, Shottery looked a much different outfit in the second half. All the set piece plays were now going Shottery’s way and the Alcester pack was looking increasingly tired.
Surprisingly the spark which ignited Shottery’s fuse was an altercation between two of their own players, as mild mannered hooker Roscoe Kitching took exception to a misplaced pass from feisty local thespian Dominic Skinner.
The next Alcester scrum consequently went backwards and with their backline under pressure and the clearance kick was charged down for Crump to react quickest and touch down for his third try.
Despite the Shottery second row having a combined age of 105, their experience was now beginning to tell and more forward pressure led to fly half Steffan Panacotter diving over for a great try.
Shottery saved the best for last though. An attack that was started deep in their own half was driven on by forwards and backs alike, with the ball being offloaded out of the tackle several times.
Eventually it found its way out to skipper Hickey who, with options left and right, passed the ball out to Gabere who scored in the corner with a Chris Ashton style swallow dive.
There was no way back for Alcester who, credit to them, tried to play an attacking game right to the end.
After the game Shottery skipper Hickey said: “It was great to end my tenure as skipper with a win. It didn’t look likely after the first quarter, but I am proud of the way we turned it around and got back into the game. This is why I love this game and the Shottery spirit.”
Shottery are now preparing to tour Whitley Bay, with rumours of a game with Newcastle, although hopefully not their first team!