The trip to a frosty Midhurst provided Shoreham’s last test of 2014. The match opened with a slightly disjointed Shoreham containing Midhurst with strong individual play but not working well enough as a team to take control. 10 minutes in this changed with Shoreham stepping up a gear and away from our hosts.
Control of the ball was regularly gained by teamwork at the breakdown, and Shoreham started to support their strong runners going up the middle. This eventually broke Midhurst down with Louie Stillman crashing over.
Shoreham continued to press with excellent tackling, particularly from Ollie Freshwater, and some strong rucking from Luca Holland, while rotating the squad to keep everyone fresh. The first half ended with Mattias Woollard returning a Midhurst kick off the entire length of the pitch to put Shoreham 3-1 up.
The second half became more of a game of attrition as both teams tired. Shoreham maintained field position and were often in or about their opponent’s line. Two decisions that he ball had been held up, when Shoreham were across the line, stopped the game running away from Midhurst.
The hosts did score a couple of breakaway tries but these lapses were not reflective of the overall game. Toby Gale capped a strong performance and a hat trick of tries with a move off of a scrum to secure a well-deserved 5-3 win.
The result places the U11s well for the second half of the season when the team will be looking to continue to improve.