Cam weather hailstorms and a lively Old Tonbridgians to remain undefeated
Old Tonbridgians, Saturdays visitors to Watchetts were promoted with the black and ambers having finished second in last years league.
Based on the excellent rugby they produced in both meetings last year a fast and open encounter was anticipated and although a couple of violent downpours spot on 3.00 and again at half time did produce a greasy ball and a slippery pitch the game by and large lived up to expectations – two evenly matched sides prepared to attack at every opportunity.
So with OTs kicking off in a hailstorm we saw Hoff gather the kick and the ball was quickly moved across the backline but the chip ahead ran dead so play was brought back to halfway.
The first 10 mins saw both sides with some possession but both defences were up quickly to snuff out any chance of a real break but with 15 mins played Cam moved the ball wide and Ash fed Ollie for the first score which was converted by TommyD.
Again from the restart Hoff made a great catch and the black and ambers moved forward but ferocious tackling by the visitors and the occasional over ambitious pass left the home supporters a tad frustrated but on 22 mins great defence by Cam saw the ball pop loose and a chip ahead by Oyoni saw Ash outpace the OTs defence to touch down for the second score which was also converted by TommyD.
Both sides were extremely well matched at this stage although the Cam 8 were beginning to get the nudge on in the tight and they had stolen several lineouts but with 27 mins on the clock Hoff made a great steal in the loose and we saw Ash racing away only for his final pass to go astray.
Still the game was very attritional with big hits coming in from both sides with lock Voighty and debutant Richard Haire making their presence felt and despite the visitors making the red zone on several occasions they were unable to crack the black and ambers defence until on 38 mins Cam again stole the lineout but conceded a pen which was converted.
Cam came back almost immediately and won a penalty on OTs 10m line which TommyD just pushed wide and with Oyoni's nudge returning play to the OTs 22 half time was blown with Cam certainly in the ascendancy.
The players then spent the 5 min break sheltering from another extremely heavy storm before resuming battle, this time with Cam playing down the slope towards the clubhouse and they were soon on the attack when from a scrum on halfway a searing break by Ash saw him almost through but his final pass to Oyoni was less than accurate. To his great credit Oyoni worked hard to retrieve the ball and again quick ball saw Ash cross for his second of the match and with TommyD's kick hitting the upright the score had moved to 19-3 with just 43 mins played.
If the Cam players and supporters were thinking about bonus points the visitors were in no mood to roll over and mounted a series of attacks on the black and ambers try line and although they were unsuccessful with the catch and drive from the 5m lineout on several occasions they eventually forced themselves over on 68 mins for an unconverted try.
The restart saw Cam on the attack again but a great break out from their 22 saw TommyA pull off a superb tackle as the last man in the defensive line and then get back on his feet and turn the ball over saving a certain score.
But OTs were not prepared to concede the game and again a surge of attacks saw them cross for a second try on 75 mins which again was not converted.
The final minutes saw a break by TommyA which forced the OTs fullback to carry over his own line but with the black and ambers down to 13 at this stage they were not able to take advantage of the position but in this last 5 mins played themselves to a standstill ensuring that the visitors did not add to their score.
Overall a very satisfactory result for Risey's boys despite having left several scores on the park particularly in the first half.
Another really good shift from the pack with TK standing in as hooker for the injured Dylan having a good game and Richard on debut at blindside certainly providing great physicality around the park. Mac and Hughsey also got through loads of work but it must be hats off this week to locks Voighty and Hoff who made some massive hits, stole ball at crucial times and in general provided the grunt and go forward which saw the side through.
The backs again with ball in hand always look dangerous but they were also, on occasions, perhaps guilty of trying the exceptional pass when, on such a wet and breezy day, possibly the better option was to play it a bit safer and protect the ball.
With the 2s winning at Esher 20-10 and the 3s claiming a WO it was another of those 'good' weekends for the club.
Next week the 1s are away at League Leaders London Cornish while the 2s are home to Old Emmanuel, the 3s away at Chobham and the Vets travel to Barnes.
And Finally not such a great day at Castle Grim where the C&Ws went down to B**rf and so continue their rather lack lustre start to the season.
Win a Maximuscle training session with Anthony Watson