Outstanding Cam Performance just too much for Promotion favourites Sevenoaks
By Roger Berry
In an exciting game where both sides showed tremendous commitment Cam proved just too good for promotion favourites Sevenoaks opening up the race for top spot.
So today we welcomed league leaders Sevenoaks to Watchetts in the first of 3 games against top 4 sides in the run in to the end of the season and while many of the pundits predicted a comfortable victory for the Kent side the faithful Watchetts supporters were quietly confident that their side had the where with all to topple the leaders if they could produce an 80 min performance.
In the event the spectators witnessed a fantastic game with both sides giving 100% but with Cam deserved winners as they out scrummaged the visitors all afternoon winning numerous penalties, disrupted the visitors outstanding line out and provided an amazing defensive effort which meant that the visitors could only cross the whitewash by way of a lucky 90m interception when their line was under extreme pressure.
As with a contest between two evenly matched sides these games hinge on certain events and in this case the visitors hearts were broken when having pummelled the Cam line in the final quarter when the black and ambers were down to 14 men Cam's Herculean effort eventually saw the ball turned over and the danger cleared and the final minutes of an extremely long second half was played out in the visitors 22.
Cam started proceedings kicking off towards the clubhouse and as the game settled they put the visitors line under great pressure with a series of pick and goes and with a score seeming inevitable the ball was shipped out wide where they had an overlap but the outnumbered Sevenoaks winger read the final pass and sprinted almost from his own line to touch down after just 10 mins.
This setback did not seem to unsettle the black and ambers and with halfbacks Tom and Smarty working hard at playing the game in the right areas we then saw a series of scrums within the Sevenoaks 22 each resulting in a penalty and despite Baz, our outstanding young prop needing treatment after he fell on the ball, the official eventually decided to award a penalty try following several more dominant Cam scrums with 25 mins played.
The restart saw Cam regain possession and following some great rugby we saw Oyoni and Dyl almost over in the left hand corner.
The game was very tight with both sides very aggressive in the tackle causing handling errors and on several occasions we witnessed the skills of veteran fullback TommyA who collected numerous opposition kicks and always proved to be difficult for the opposition to bring down - which is quite understandable as most of his team mates have no idea what our brilliant fullback will do next.
However on the stroke of half time the visitors moved into the lead when Ozzie Greg was deemed to have infringed close to the Cam line and was given 10 mins to reflect on the error of his ways while Sevenoaks knocked over the resultant penalty.
The second half saw no let up in the ferocity from either side and following several excellent moves we saw an superb miss pass by Smarty to Oyoni, who had caused concern to the visitors all afternoon with his pacey and physical running, making good yards before his pop pass to TommyA for him to touch down and with Smarty adding the extras the score after 48 mins had moved to 14-8.
Despite the enormous energy already expended by both sides coupled with the number of times the physios from both sides were called upon, the game kept up its frenetic pace, a clear statement on the fitness of all of the players and with the Sevenoaks #8 reducing the chaos of their scrum put ins by very cleverly extricating the ball before his pack retreated the visitors were always testing the black and ambers defence but this proved to be unbreachable due to a fantastic team effort which constantly drove the visitors back with the result that despite losing Mac for 10 mins, the 14 remaining all put in superhuman efforts to protect their goal line and eventually with the heartrates of the Cam supporters 'in the red zone' the ball was turned over and great support play saw Cam sweep up field and when Hughsey was held up just short, play was brought back for a penalty which in extremely difficult conditions young Smarty converted to make the score 17-8 as we moved into time added on.
Sevenoaks were clearly not prepared to leave Watchetts empty handed and when, from the restart, Cam are penalised on their 22 the visitors moved back into lbp territory.
The restart again saw the visitors 'going for broke' but after countless phases saw them in pretty much the same field position as they had started fromand conceding a scrum on the Cam 10m we saw Mac, TommyA and Oyoni again combining and almost forcing their way through before the final whistle on what had been a fantastic 80 min performance by both squads - certainly Camberley's toughest game of the season and a fantastic advert for the quality of rugby in this league.
This was an outstanding performance by the entire squad who had spend time at training working on ways to combat the league leaders which clearly was time well spent and the work that has been done on the scrummaging and lineouts was clear to see for anyone who was at the game at Sevenoaks.
Suffice it to say the forwards were magnificent with all eight completely spent when the official blew for time. The half backs Tom and Smarty really upped their game this week and their management was excellent while the backs tackled hard, ran hard and added some real sparkle to the day on occasions as well.
We must also congratulate Sevenoaks who gave absolutely everything to the cause and we wish them well for the rest of the season.
The young official also had an excellent game and it was good to see him ignoring the repeated calls for 'High Tackle' and 'Offside' from the visitors coaching team and supporters, calls which were invariably inaccurate, and trust his own judgement.
So the 1s now have a weekend of R&R before travelling to Westcomb Park for what will be another tricky game.
The 2s were unfortunately let down at the last minute (08.00 on Saturday) by our near neighbours but are in action again next Saturday when they play Rosslyn Park Hatters in the semi final of the Presidents tankard
And Finally - well the C&Ws play at The Stoop on Sunday, looking to recapture their winning ways but knowing that The Queens are certainly in good form this season and although defeat would not move them from their current playoff position, any points won in SW London would stretch the gap from the chasing pack