So the black and ambers, or to be completely accurate the black and pinks as the Camberley side played in their change kit, made the trip to Coney Hill knowing that victory would see them realise their dream to play the National Final at Twickenham.
The boys knew that the Gloucester side would prove to be very physical opponents and although the pitch looked well covered it was clear that with all the recent rain it was soft and would cut up early on and so limit Camberley's pacey and expansive game which has stood them in good stead during the season and this indeed proved to be the case.
In the event we witnessed a titanic struggle between two well matched sides, each clearly desperate to play at Twickenham, a game which needed extra time and a beautifully struck penalty by TommyD to separate them. However as in all knock out competitions there has to be a winner and a loser and probably on balance Cam just shaded things much to the huge delight of their not insignificant support however tinged with not a small amount of sympathy for their opposition.
The game started with Cam kicking off into brisk breeze and also playing up the slope and almost immediately they were on the back foot when the home side strung a few passes together while the visitors dropped off a couple of tackles allowing Coney Hill's talented Kiwi centre to outpace the defence and score with barely a minute played.
The next 40 mins or so saw Cam with most of the possession and also territory although on a rare visit to the Cam 22 the home side wasted an opportunity to extend their lead when a straightforward penalty struck the post and although the rebound was claimed by a home player he conceded a penalty for holding on while the majority of his team mates watched from halfway
Both sides were struggling with the conditions with the ball often being knocked on and players slipping and sliding although when Cam did manage to string a few phases together they did threaten the home side's line but we had to wait until 36 mins before they could turn this possession into points.
At this stage the Cam lineout had been extremely successful and their drive was causing the home side real problems and it was from a series of these drives that the ball was eventually swung out wide and the Flying Fijian dotted down in the corner. We then saw TommyD produce something almost magical as with conditions underfoot so poor he still managed to stroke over a magnificent conversion from touch to bring the scores level.
And more was to come for the Camberley faithful when, from the restart, Hughsey took the restart kick at full throttle and tore through the home defence taking play into the home 22 again and when the Coney Hill prop was penalised and binned for illegally slowing the ball down we saw TommyD step up to claim the 3 points and the lead at half time.
The second half continued much as the first with both sides very physical but the conditions and the pressure creating too many unforced errors until on 55 mins the home side's#8, who was always dangerous with ball in hand, was allowed to punch a big hole in the Cam defence before feeding the fullback who swallow dived under the posts to make the score 14-10.
The level of commitment from both sides was certainly not dropping off and a session of handbags, brought about more by frustration than anything else saw both sides down to 14 for 10 mins.
Coney Hill then had a period pf possession in the Cam half but actually could not break the outstanding black and ambers defence and with about 70 mins on the clock having worked their way into the home side's 22 the ball was moved wide and we saw great hands by the backs before Oyoni touch down in the corner and another magnificent conversion by TommyD saw the score move to 14-17 with less than 10 mins to go.
However Cam were much too casual with the restart and when Ash was isolated Coney Hill drew level with a soft penalty with 5 mins left and this remained the score at full time.
Extra time of 10 mins each way saw Cam still probably claiming the majority of the possession but the pattern we saw played out previously saw both sides working hard but also handicapped by the conditions until on 10mins Cam won a penalty straight on which TommyD converted.
The second period became even more desperate with both sides fighting hard for the winning score in a real energy sapping 10 mins showing their fitness levels, with every knock on now being cheered by the opposition supporters until the official brought proceedings to a close with both sides almost out on their feet.
So a hard fought but in the end just about deserved win against a very good side who could not be faulted on commitment or physicality but who were matched by this young Cam side who grow in stature at each major challenge they are set.
This undoubtedly was a team performance and it is so clear that the bonding of the squad is now exceptional with each of the 22 prepared to work so hard for his mates.
Amazing shifts by everyone – the forwards carried most of the load and were immense and held a very good Coney Hill pack while the backs always looked dangerous and would have loved a firm pitch to showcase their skills.
MoM was centre Josh Wright but in a game of so many heroes this was without doubt the biggest team win of the season.
So away to Twickenham RFC next week in the League plus a couple of home League games before playing at Twickenham on May 6th – a well deserved prize for a really deserving bunch of young men who play their hearts out for each other each Saturday.
Back at Watchetts we saw the 2s proceed to the finals of their Surrey KO competition with a 31-12 win over Ironsides.
And Finally – so we were in C&W country and some of us had the opportunity to watch them winning at Connacht in the Bic Biro to move through to the semis when they will entertain Newcastle. Perhaps more significantly however was that they were playing in their European pink strip – clearly Pink was the colour of the day.
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC