Todd Bailey: Southend Rugby Club should be proud of start to season, despite Shelford defeat

TODD Bailey was disappointed by Southend’s 16-10 defeat at Shelford on Saturday but feels the Seasiders should still be proud of their start to the season.

Bailey bagged Southend’s try in their reverse against the Cambridgeshire club.

However, they still sit fifth in the National Two South standings and have already secured more points than they did in the whole of last season.

“It was frustrating at Shelford because we couldn’t get the ball we wanted in the second half,” said Bailey, 22.

“We had the advantage of the wind and the slope in the second half which we thought would work in our favour but Shelford kept the ball well and made it hard.

“The officials didn’t have the best of days either but I don’t think we can complain too much because we’ve been doing well this season.

“We already have more points than we did at the end of last year and now we want to push on after Christmas and try to get even higher up the table.”

Shelford went in front with an early penalty from Elliot Bales but Southend soon hit as a determined pack led to Bailey touching down for the fourth time this season.

Brad Burr added the conversion to make it 7-3 before the Seasiders were reduced to 14 men as scrum half Lee Sandberg was sent to the sin bin.

The next 10 minutes saw Shelford trying to take advantage as they stormed forward at every possible opportunity.

Southend did their best to resist but were undone when referee Craig Maxwell-Keys awarded a penalty try.

The easy conversion put Shelford back in front at 10-7 before a penalty from Burr brought the teams back level at the break.

The Seasiders were reduced to 14 men again in the second half when back row David Jackson was sin binned for slowing down play.

Bale’s resulting penalty put the hosts back in front and that increased that advantage to six points with another successful kick.

In reply, Southend’s in form winger Danny Cleare soon touched down.

But the effort was ruled out for a forward pass which summed up a frustrating and forgettable day for the Seasiders.

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