PREVIEW: 1st XV v Shelford RFC Saturday 13th February

Again Ealing are on the road this week, this time up to Cambridgeshire to visit Shelford RFC. Shelford were promoted to the national leagues last season after an impressive season in London 1, and despite their league position (they currently sit in 8th position), they are a difficult team to beat at home, as their form shows (6 wins, 1 loss and a draw from their 8 outings at Davey’s field ).

Head coach Kieran Power is only to aware of the dangers that Shelford pose, he said earlier this week,  " Shelford are a very resilient side with a well drilled pack and some dangerous broken field runners, they were one of the sides that stood out on their visit to Vallis Way .This will be a very tough away fixture and we need to be on top form when going to Davey field."

The early years………..Shelford RFC

The date was 6 October 1933 when an announcement was made through the Cambridge Independent Press – “ A rugby section of Shelford Amateur Sports Association has now definitely been formed.. Club colours will be claret vests with white collars” –  and so the story begins for Shelford Rugby Club. The first ground was loaned to the Club by Mrs Goldsmith- Martin and was close to Shelford Railway Station with changing facilities at the nearby Railway Tavern.

In 1965 , the Club reached a major milestone in its development when Mr P J Davey honoured the Club by donating the playing field at Cambridge Road, Gt Shelford – the present home of the Club , which became known as “Davey Field”. The official opening of the ground and new Clubhouse on 19 September 1966 was marked with a game against Andy Hancock’s star-studded team from Northampton. The Club flourished during the 60’s and 70’s from its home at Davey Field.

To cope with the growth of the Club, further land was bought to add another pitch . This pitch was called “Jakes Field “ after the Club’s long standing Chairman who sadly died in 2002. 

In recent times, the performance on the pitch has also gathered pace following the appointment of a New Zealander, Sam Tovo, as player / coach. Breaking a leg while playing for Rugby Lions did not put him off rugby, and his experience and ideas have brought a fresh approach to the Club. The philosophy of introducing key players, drawn from what seems like an endless supply of rugby playing friends, to add support and experience to local players brought through from Shelfords’ youth policy paid dividends during the 2006-7 season as Shelford became Eastern County Cup winners at senior and junior levels, Cambridgeshire County Cup winners, and firmly established themselves in their first season in London 1. 

The danger men in 2010 – Who are they?

Centre Ed Gough is their main points scorer, 156 ( almost 42% of their points scored) , whilst power house number 8, Feofaaki Lea tops the try scoring list with 7, followed by live wire scrum half, Alex Birkby with 4.  Their form in their past 6 games as been a bit patchy, 2 losses against improving Worthing and Clifton, but their home form is what holds them in 8th position. Their one loss was to Clifton by two points, 19-21, back in early October.

Of the 5 yellow cards they have received , second row Dane Grey is top of the charts with 2!

Ealing centre Joe Price is looking forward to this weekend’s game at Shelford, "After a disappointing home game against Dings, the team was looking to put things right with an 80 minutes performance in defence and attack. As the score lines show I thought the team reacted well and we produced some great rugby. Barnes did test us at times in defence and played a very wide game, which made for a good defensive work out for us.
There are no easy away games in this league and being top of the League at the moment everyone wants to knock us of top spot. Shelford look like they are strong at home so it’s certainly going to be a tough game. When we played them at home I was impressed and it’s definately going to be a challenge.
There is a good feeling within the squad we are just concentrating on one game at a time with it being so close at the top that’s all you can do. If you start to look at games ahead that is when you can slip up and lose focus. With a few quality players coming back from injury and hitting form competition is rising in training which can only be a good thing."

Recent results between Ealing Trailfinders RFC and Shelford RFC

17/10/09 Ealing Trailfinders 36 Shelford 15

24/02/07 Shelford 10 Ealing Trailfinders 31

23/09/06 Ealing Trailfinders 67 Shelford 13

26/02/05 Ealing Trailfinders 22 Shelford 24

25/09/04 Shelford 7 Ealing Trailfinders 46