1XV edged out in local Derby
Report c/o 'The Puff'
In a fiercely contested local derby, which fluctuated one way and then the other, the visitors prevailed by a single point despite a brave performance from Camp Hill who played most of the second half with 14 men.
The early exchanges were pretty even but Camps soon suffered their first setback of the afternoon when second row Jan Van der Walt was forced off with a shoulder injury. The visitors had a period of good possession but were held out by excellent goal line defence and it was Camps who took the lead after the reshuffled pack took one against the head and the visitors conceded a penalty on the 22. Ian Briggs kicked the 3 points.
Camps regained the ball straight from the restart and an unlikely kick ahead from skipper Mitch Lee nearly produced a try.
The home side didn’t have to wait long however for a try which was probably the best of the season so far. The ball went through the backs, Briggs made a typical break before feeding winger Jordan Oliver who then found fellow winger, Matt Clarke, steaming up on the outside and he went over for a try that Briggs converted for a 10-point lead. Oak came back strongly and the try-scorer had to make an excellent tackle to snuff out the danger. The referee found it necessary to warn both captains as things hotted up and the visitors enjoyed more possession. Another last-ditch tackle, this time from full back Mark Lisle, kept them out but eventually the pressure resulted in a score in the corner, which was converted for the full 7 points.
There was still time for Camps to come back prior to half time and Oak were forced into conceding penalties. Although Briggs missed one attempt from close to half way, he took full advantage of a second kick deeper in the visitors’ half to extend the lead to 6 points at the half.
The game bubbled over at the start of the second half and the Oak number 8 was shown a yellow card for a late hit on replacement Rory Luscombe. Tempers then flared at the next breakdown and in the flurry of fisticuffs that followed flanker Mark Linnett was singled out by the referee and shown a red card.
Facing all but 7 minutes of the second half a man short, Camps were soon behind when the visitors scored an excellent try of their own which was converted from the touchline.
Oak took advantage of the disruption to the home side with another try to stretch the lead to 8 points. This provoked an immediate response and fly-half Barney Edwards scored a great individual try, refusing to be tackled in the opposition 22,shedding a couple of would-be tacklers before carrying another couple over the line with him! The conversion attempt hit the post. This seemed to galvanise Camps and a huge kick from Edwards caused panic in the Oak ranks and then a break from centre Jon Betty supported by Mitch Lee put on further pressure. When Camps were awarded a penalty on the 5-metre line they opted for the scrum and despite being a man short drove the opposition pack backwards towards their own line on two occasions before the referee lost patience with the visitors and awarded a penalty try. Again Oak came back and, despite some heroic defence, they eventually forced their way over to regain the lead.
Camps were not giving up on this one and created chances to win it .A great break from Halbey needed someone with a little more pace than Jan-Erik outside him, Barney sent an optimistic drop-goal attempt wide and right at the death a great run and kick ahead from Briggsy gave him a penalty opportunity which went agonizingly close.
An excellent performance from the home side with the reshuffled and short-handed pack outstanding.
There is no league game next week which may give some of the injured a chance to recover before the trip to Rugby Lions on November 25th.Please come and support your team.
The Beech House, Solihull 'MOTM' - Matt Clarke (pic)