Match Report
Shiplake College 1st XV vs  St Benedict's School
On: Friday, 16 Nov 2018
Venue: at Home

It is the biggest game of the boys’ careers at Shiplake; whether it's their first or last, Friday Night Lights is not one to be forgotten.

The boys of the 1st XV went to the game with a lot to prove and wanted to put on a show for the school. Having run out to the pitch to a roaring Shiplake crowd, the match started intensely, with Shiplake struggling to settle into the match. After a tough first ten minutes for both sides, Shiplake let a St. Benedict's player through, who got the first try of the match. Shiplake were not disheartened by this, and hit back with some serious physicality. Shiplake were now near St. Benedict's try line and some quick hands soon got Joe Kerrison over for the first Shiplake try of the match. Our boys started to realise that they could put some points on them if they decided to get into the game, and focused on the task ahead. Shiplake tried to match their opponents' physicality, which was not always the right decision. By sticking to their well-practiced tactics a try came through the form of Matt Dalrymple taking the ball to the line to smash Robbie Cartwright into the St. Benedict's defence, where he got the offload to Matty Fitzgerald to sprint finish under the post. Matty Fitzgerald got the extras. St. Benedict's fronted up in areas leading to Shiplake giving away penalties and allowing them to kick for the posts. Going into half-time 12-8 to Shiplake.

The second half started with the boys running out to once again an amazing Shiplake crowd, that kept going the whole game. The half started with Shiplake on the front foot and some fast pick-and-goes on the St. Benedict's try line; leading to Robbie Cartwright getting over the line. Unfortunately, this was not enough to dominate, and Shiplake weren't able to stop their opposition. Shiplake realised they needed to play smarter rugby and then a try came through the form of Robbie Cartwright offloading to Matty Fitzgerald to get his second of the game. This did not prove to be enough a Shiplake very cruelly lost the match in the last play of the game when St. Benedict's went over in the corner to score and win the game 29-30. This was very disappointing for Shiplake because they so badly wanted the performance in front of their audience.

Report provided by 1st XV team captain Robbie Cartwright