Our squad made up of a healthy mix of 1st, 2nd and Academy players competed in the annual Surrey County 7s held at Esher RFC, after five gruelling rounds and two periods of extra time the squirrels came away winning the Surrey shield.
The tournament was structured as a straight knock out with losing teams dropping down a tier. In round one Camberley faced Guildfordians, after an early exchanges of tries strong performances from Ed Grovesnor, Tom Derrick and Rob Hughes saw Camberley hit the afterburners running out 49-12 winners.
In round two, Camberley faced the hosts and defending champions national one side Esher on the main pitch in front of a partisan crowd. Not to be perturbed, the young Camberley side ran up a 19-0 lead with excellent vision and passing from the evergreen Tom Allen coupled with strong running and physical defence by Sam Voight and skipper Steve Hastings. Esher who sevens team complete on the UKs premier sevens series alongside teams such British Army, Marauders and England Development emptied their bench pulling back to 19 - 19. In the dying moments Camberley launched a final attack, link play between Rob Hughes and Allen saw academy product Ben Lovell-Smith slide over, only to be adjudged to be held up with the game ending in a draw. The match moved to sudden death extra time, Esher won the toss and received the kick. Stoic defence from Camberley meant Esher had to execute an excellent set of multiple phases to squeeze over in the corner for the Win.
Camberley then dropped down to the Shield tier quarter final v London 2 rivals Effingham. Slick handling from all players and quality finishing from Kevin Bell and Ed Grovesnor saw Camberley progress to the semis with a 29-0 victory. Worth Old Boys awaited in the semis, The mercurial half back partnership of James Armstrong and Tom Allen proved to creative for Worth seeing the black and ambers run out 29-10 winners.
The final, now in wet and windy conditions saw Camberley face old rivals Old Cranleighan. The open exchanges were a see saw affair with each side matching each other in attack and defence, A mistake in defence saw the OCs centre break down the middle to open the scores. Camberley responded with a well worked try up the middle by Kevin Bell. Some excellent footwork coupled with searing pace from the OCs outside backs saw their lead stretch to 19-7 at the break. The second half started with great defence from Voight to create a turnover for Camberley to score to bring the game within 5 points. As the clock ran down Camberley launched a injury time salvo, attacking down the left channel with handling involving all members of the team resulting in Rob Hughes going over in the corner to dramatically send the match to extra time. The young Camberley squad were not to be beaten for a second time in sudden death. Once again a defensive set was needed after OCs won the toss, This time the Camberley defence held true and after a turnover and superb handling the youngest member of the team Ben Lovell Smith went over in the corner to seal the win and take the trophy home.
Squad: Sam Voight, Steve Hastings (C) , Ed Grovesnor, James Horton, Tom Derrick, Sam Gilham, James Armstrong, Tom Allen, Rob Hughes, Kevin Bell, Ben Lovell Smith, Coach: Gareth Rise, Physio: Sophie Usher.
(Report and pics by Gareth Rise
Updated 19:37 - 24 Jul 2017 by Roger Berry