1XV put on 5-star performance to turnover League leaders
Report from 'The Puff'
Camps travelled to the delights of Stourton Park to take on the league leaders knowing that the perfect weather and excellent playing surface would be ideal for the free-running home side that ran out winners 55-45 in Shirley early in the year. Far from being overawed,
however, they produced their best all-round performance of the season denying the leaders a single point and setting up a very interesting end to the season.
Four points separate the top three with new leaders, Leek, visiting Stourton Park in a fortnight’s time. Camps were on the front foot from the kick off and the home side were pinned in their own 22 for the first quarter of an hour of the match. Strong running from forwards and backs alike threatened a score at any time but resolute defence and the inability to take advantage of a number of penalties kept it scoreless. The nearest Camp Hill came was when man of the match Harry Cunningham was held up over the line following a number of 5 metre lineouts.
Ironically, Stourbridge finally escaping their 22 led to Camps breakthrough. Fly half Barney Edwards sent a booming up and under back into the Lions 22 and the follow up from the fly half and centre Rob Freeman resulted in the former gathering and slipping the ball to Cunningham who weaved over for the opening score. Edwards judged the tricky wind perfectly to add the extra 2 points.
The referee’s patience finally gave out and a yellow card reduced the home side to 14 men. With the man advantage, Camps took advantage of another 5-metre line, perfectly gathered by skipper Mark Newton, carried over the line and touched down by hooker Adam Willis for his twelfth try of the season. Edwards again converted.
Although Camps continued to dominate completely they were unable to increase their lead and on a very rare visit to the visitor’s half, Stourbridge were unable to make the most of a kickable penalty with the last kick of the half. Stourbridge, with the wind now on their backs, finally showed the running ability of their three quarters and within 5 minutes of the restart scored a try in the corner to reduce the deficit by
Camps showed they were not going to be dominated as Stourbridge had been in the first half and they were soon back in Lions territory. A penalty resulted but Barney was unable to outsmart the wind on this occasion. The home side then scored a second well-worked try by the backs with the winger sending full back in under the posts to reduce the deficit to 2 points.
With half an hour still to go it looked like it would be backs to the wall for the visitors but they came straight back and earned another penalty in virtually the same spot as the previous unsuccessful effort. This time, however, the option was a kick to the corner and the line out again worked to perfection and Willis slipped the ball to skipper Newton to score the try. Barney added another tricky conversion. The Lions came back fighting but were faced with some fearsome tackling and, whenever, the chance arose the visitors would run the ball straight back at them. It is difficult to single out individuals in such an excellent team performance but the back row of Harry, Rob Hunt, 'Halbey' and Adam Pinfield was outstanding.
Camps held firm and the only clear chance the home side had was a penalty at the end, which would have given them, a bonus point but the kick was unsuccessful.
Next week its back to Haslucks Green Road for a home game against, the much improved, Tamworth, kick of 3.00 pm.
Lets get behind the team for the final push.
(pic taken prior to k/o at Stourton Park, c/o 'Pops' Freeman)