|16.12.06. Camels v Cullompton
Christmas will be a much happier time for the Wadebridge players due to their success at the weekend. League leaders, Cullompton travelled down to the Molesworth Field where a full strength side awaited them. Only a month ago Camels travelled to this fixture and came away with a 5 -5 draw. They wanted to make amends to that days' performance, and so they did.
Again, another strong crowd saw Camels power forward and before long they were able to spectate a trade-mark catch and drive which saw loose head prop Brian Finnemore crash over for the 1 st try of the afternoon. Good structure got the Camels forwards into striking range again and influential flanker Gav West welcomed his long awaiting return with a scurry over the line to take the score to 10 - 0. Cullumpton put pressure on the home team and were awarded a penalty which they were able to convert. More fluent passing and powerful surging runs from Lumb, Boyin, Wilce saw Camels in range yet again. Cullumpton had to clear their lines which they did with a huge 40m kick only into the hands of Dan Briskham. He decided to run at the players, carving through at least 5 like a hot knife through butter. From the break down Ballard made a trademark fun and smoothly off loaded to Kneale in the tackle for the fly half to score under the posts. Half time score was 15 - 3.
From the kick off Camels caught the ball and passed it to Tom O'Donnell, who scorched 70m down the touchline and with the fullback to beat passed inside to his centre partner Sean Hawkey to score and also convert. With a convincing lead now of 22 - 3 Camels thought they could do want ever they wanted and got caught in their own half. Cullompton got the ball and put some good phases together and the visiting hooker powered over to score from close range. They then gained possession and were able to score again bringing it to 22 -13. Camels upped their work rate and were beginning to break down the visiting forwards allowing lots of pressure in their half but Cullompton defended well. They broke out of their own half and were awarded a penalty which they kicked to get within 7 points. But in the final quarter Camels had their foot on the opponent's neck and gave a killer blow with the best scrum of the game, running over the visitors and after some physical runs, captain Gary Gynn dived over to score. This brought the final score to 30 -16.
After the game Wilce said "This was the biggest game of the month. We had a heavy month and our main focus were the 2 league fixtures which we've come away with maximum points."
"The players are thriving on success, each time I introduce something new, they show me that they can do it, not only in training but more importantly on Saturdays! Players are beginning to excel, which is why we're succeeding. Shaun Hawkey, Matt Ballard, Dan Lumb and Jamie Kneal are in top form." Wilce added.
Head coach, John May said "I don't know what I'd have done with myself if we had lost today. This win has made up for our defeat last week"
I honestly believe that John May fell asleep with a bit of a grin on his face Saturday night.
09.12.06. Camels v Barnstaple Cup.
5 minutes...just 5 minutes away from victory. What an excellent game the spectators saw at the Molesworth Field last Saturday. An unbeaten Barnstaple side, from the league above, travelled down to Wadebridge in the 4 th round of senior vase expecting to have a field day.
Camels went into this game as clear underdogs, especially with the unavailability of Finnemore, West, Boyling, Briskham and top try scorer McLennan, all regular starters for the 1 st 15. Camels had their record of being unbeaten at home this season to look after and knew this would be a challenge but they were clearly ready for the battle which commenced.
In front of the largest crowd this season Camels came out firing. The usual powerful runs and forwards being robust, the home side found themselves in strike range and from a lineout drove and found new signing Pete Bush drive over from close range giving Camels an early lead.
All the ball that Barnstaple had, they seemed to be running in circles due to the passionate defence of Camels. A few wrong decisions from the home side gave Barnstaple possession and they put a few phases together and got a score which was converted. Camels came back and were very physical at the break downs which certainly disrupted the possession of the travellers. A penalty conceded in the home teams half gave Barnstaple the opportunity to add a further 3 points, which they did.
A lineout from Camels saw young centre Sean Hawkey break through the defence and off load to the robust flanker Sam Stone who sprinted in for Hawkey to add the 2 further points. The rest of this 1 st half saw a player from each side getting held up over the line. Half time score was 12 - 10 to Camels.
The second half saw Camels in control again, especially when they played a quicker style. Frustration kicked in when Barnstaple were penalised 4 times in a row at the break down and one of these penalties were in front of the post which Hawkey converted, taking the score to 15 - 10.
Barnstaple put pressure on, knowing they were heading for a shock result and for the last 5 minutes found themselves close to the Camels line. On the 80 th minute, after continuous pressure, No. 8 scored from a scrum much to the delight of the visiting players. They now led 15 - 17. Camels had minutes to chase the game and needed to keep the ball alive so tried running out of their 22m but lost the ball and Barnstaple scored again with the final play of the day!!
"I was gutted with the result because it was there for the taking, but full credit our players. Not one of them was phased by the occasion, not even the non-regulars. I just asked them to go out and give it your all and do yourself proud." Wilce said
"The passion and commitment in the team was unbelievable. I cannot fault any one of the 19 players."
"I hope that this shows that we could cope in the league above as Barnstaple said that this is the hardest game they've played this season. We have learnt things from today and we must take that forward to this Saturday which our biggest game yet, home to league leader Cullompton. It would be great to see the same number of crowd"
02.12.06 Camels v Honiton
Wadebridge Camels were looking forward to playing back at the Molesworth Field after a 3 week absence. A strong crowd were able to enjoy an exciting game which turned into a one sided battle.
Camels started strongly with a solid 10m scrum in Honiton's half. Scrum half, Shaun Hawkey picked from the base of the scrum and darted over in the corner for a great start.
This gave Camels more momentum and the forwards were able to get their catch and drive line-outs working gaining valuable ground. As the ball was released down the backline, winger, Alasdair MacLennan score his first try of the day. Jamie Kneale kicked the conversion.
Increasing pressure from the forwards involving powerful runs from Kev Derry and Gary Gynn saw Camels camped in Honiton's half. This led to a 5m scrum which No. 8 Gynn pick and drive himself over the line. The half finished with an excellent line from MacLennan coming off his wing and receiving a ball from Kneale which saw the Scottish winger score his second try under the posts.
With a 24 -0 lead at half time, Camels began to play a more expansive game which saw inter linking between forwards and backs. Unfortunately some of the home team's moves didn't pay off due to handling errors or else the score line could have been more!
A ball that went loose from Honiton saw Camels exciting winger Dan Briskham hoof the ball on twice and sprinted in for a try out of nothing. With a convincing lead the home side had a slip of concentration which allowed the visitors No.8 to score and was converted. Some stern words were said to the home side and after that they scored more tries from MacLennan getting his third, young Ben May running 30m and Tom O'Donnell sprinting 40m with the last play of the day.
A convincing win but still room to improve if we want to get promotion.
"I'm very pleased with this result. We played the conditions well and executed some well worked moves. " said coach John May.
"We played well but we gave away too many penalties. We now have a retired referee who comes training and today he kept statistics of the game. I'll meet with him and see how we can reduce the tally." Wilce added.
"Next week is a cup week and we are playing Barnstaple here! We could do with a big crowd. They have a 100% record this season in the league above. I just want to go out and enjoy ourselves"
18.11.06 Devonport Services v Camels (Cup)
Wadebridge Camels pulled off a great win against Devonport Services, a strong team in the league above themselves. Not only did the Cornish side have to cross the Tamar to play but they also had a number of players not available due to County or personal reasons.
For the first 10 minutes, the away side held their own in the set pieces but in open play made careless errors giving possession to Devonport. This gave the home side lots of ball and they soon capitalised on it with a drop goal and shortly after a converted try, by a break from their fly-half who off loaded to their centre to score under the posts.
After 20 minutes and some firm words to the Camels their concentration raised and started putting phases together. This allowed the visitors to put much pressure near the home teams line. After a monstrous amount of pressure, Devonport lock handled the ball on the floor and he was given 10 minutes in the bin. Camels kicked to the corner and a well worked lineout saw Captain Gary Gynn pushed over for a try. In the same 10 minutes Devonport tried clearing their lines but kicked it to young winger Miscovich who ran, chipped the ball only to see it bounce back into his hands to score a try. Devonport had the last say of the half with a penalty taking the score to 13 - 12.
The Camels had words at half time and adjusted their game plan, working their way deep into the home teams half. The forwards had a huge power serge and hooker Matt Ballard crashed over for a try. From the restart, Camels collected the ball and ran out of their half by Gynn who off loaded to centre MacLennan to run 50m with a few side steps finishing under the posts.
Devonport came back with their dangerous backs. Camels were found off guard and a quick switch ball saw the home winger score in the corner (3 rd referee would have said he went in touch!) This was shortly followed by another backs move by the home team and this conversion gave them the lead.
Being 1 point down and 15 minutes to go, Shaun Hawkey picked up an injury and a substitution had to be made. A quick rearrangement of the Camels found just 17 year old Jake McCarroll at full back. Camels found the power to get themselves into the home sides half and as we thought Devonport gave away another penalty. 5 minutes to go McCarroll said that he could slot the 45m attempt over. After some coughing and spluttering from the home camp, he put in a huge kick straight between the posts to the delight of the players and noisy travelling supporters.
Camels defended their half with passion winning 3 of Devonports lineouts starving them of possession and to the relief of the players the final whistle went.
"I don't show much emotion but I can raise a smile for the result, but not for the overall performance! I hate leaving Cornwall , the only time I'm out of the county is when it involves rugby. It certainly makes this visit worthwhile" stated coach John May.
Wilce said "We had to re jig the team for this weeks game bringing in 4 players who don't usually start for the 1 st team. It shows that players can come in the side and fit straight in, especially flanker Rob Hawkey"
He added "For Jake to come on the pitch and slot the winning kick was memorable for the club and hopefully him. What won the game for us today was an ingredient we've been working on for a while...belief!!"
28.10.06 Okehampton 7pts...v...Camels 25pts. Cup.
Camels were able to maintain their away wins with a solid performance against a powerful Okehampton side. Due to the sloping pitch and weather conditions, it was certainly a game of two halves.
The home side came out with a great determination and fire which kept the camels in their half for much of the first half. Camels found themselves constricted to their own 22m line. 25 minutes into the game saw an incident involving fullback Andy "handbag' Cameron, reduced the visitors to 14 men as he was shown a yellow card. Continuous pressure finally told after a spell of driving mauls allowed an Okehampton flanker to be driven over the line. The extra points were added with a successful conversion.
Just before half time Camels worked their way up the slope and were finally awarded a penalty which Jamie Kneale kicked. The half time score was 7-3.
With the wind and slope both in Camels favour, all the play was down in Okehamptons half. As the home team tried to clear their line, they failed to make touch and the ball was caught by winger Matt Bailey, fed down the line to Tom O'Donnell who switched with wing Alistair MacLennan to run in 20 meters for their first try. This was shortly followed with a catch and drive lineout that went over the line and Julian Wilce came up with the ball.
With Kneale putting the visitors in great positions with his boot, Matt Ballard claimed the next try from a well worked lineout.
Coach John May now made his changes to give his fringe players a run out and shortly after Wilce claimed his second try of the day receiving a short pass from Shaun Hawkey and ran in 30m to slide under the posts. Positive runs from Ben Keightley almost saw him get a try, but was tackled short of the line. The final score was 7-25 to Camels.
Camels are hoping for a home tie in the next round of the cup and ask for the continuingly growing crowd to support as usual.
May says that another win in the cup is a bonus for us, but we need to get our league heads on again and concentrate on Saturdays local derby, home to St.Austell.
Wilce stated that "we had five regular starting players out for this tricky game and the lads that played did very well. It'll be interesting this week in training as three of the five are available!!"
He added "To receive man of the match today from John was great as I've tried to focus more on my game rather than the whole team. Hopefully it'll pay off more often"
21.10.06 Perranporth 5pts...v... Camels 77pts
Number 13 was the lucky number for Wadebridge Camels as that was the number of tries they scored against Perranporth. Not only was it a record score for the Camels but they got their first away win of the season.
The reliable travelling supporters were able to enjoy the entertaining game provided by Camels. After 10 minutes of continuous pressure and a few handling errors Camels were able to cross the line when Captain Gary Gynn popped up in midfield to sprint in for his first of 5 tries . With the line outs working well and scrums being solid, gave Gynn plenty of opportunity to make yard after yard linking with his back row and half backs.
As Camels increased their lead, through tries by Alasdair MacLennan, Sean Hawkey, Dave Pretty and a further 2 from Gynn, they were able to change their style and began to play a very fast and open game which left the home team lost for defensive ideas. Players were making great breaks, drawing the defence and pass to numerous supporting players. At the half time whistle the visitors were in front by 40 - 0.
It was important to keep some kind of structure with a lead like that and in the first 15 minutes of the second half Camels seemed to take their foot off the accelerator and found themselves making handling errors and wrong decisions. It took a pick and drive try by Perranporth which was not converted to put the Camels back in shape. Straight from the kick off they won the ball and scored by fly half Jamie Kneale. This was shortly followed by a catch and drive lineout which created the opportunity for scrum half Shaun Hawkey to scamper through the defence to score his try.
A further 2 tries came from Gynn, young Hawkey getting his second Danielle Bonanno (who seemed to be everywhere). Winger Bryn Phillips finished the day with a try created by Matt Bailey chip ahead which Phillips grounded. Centre Sean Hawkey kicked 6 of the conversions making the final score 77 - 5.
After the game, coach John May said, "I was slightly disappointed with the number of chances we threw away, but I'm glad that we were able to create those chances." He was really pleased with the inter linking play between forwards and backs and seeing the talented backline shine.
Wilce added, "It was important to get an away win under our belt, it was a bonus that it wasn't only a win but also a great team performance."
7.10.06. Camels First XV 46 pts...v...Cullompton 12 pts
Wadebridge Camels proved to their coach that their mental toughness has improved. Last week they were winning by 20 points and they then let the opposition back and put themselves under pressure. This week, by half time, they were 26-0 ahead and they were warned not to have a repeat of last week.
Camels set off with a bang. Excellent running from the young, exciting backline and powerful runs from the forwards, especially from captain Gary Gynn who was later named Man of the Match. The forwards were able to dictate the game with solid scrums and guaranteed lines outs from Lumb and Wilce. This led to the first try of the game with a catch and drive 10m out allowing lock Andy Ball to score, (this was later claimed by Dan Lumb!). This was shortly followed by a pick at the base of the scrum for No.8 Gynn to score taking the score to 14-0. Camels always looked in control, even when they had to play with 14 men for 10 minutes due to an incident which the referee showed Wilce a yellow card. During this time winger Dan Briskham scorched through numerous attempted tackles to score under the posts. Back with 15 men, Camels broke away from their own 5m line with a trade mark run from MacLennan linking with Wilce, West and finally Briskham to score in the corner. Camels finished the half with another catch and drive lineout which was this time scored by prop Finnemore. The half time score was 26-0.
The second half was much similar as the first in terms of players making excellent yards time after time. Gav West being everywhere, Ian Boyling making hard hits, Gareth Bilkey punching holes.
Great passing from Hicks saw MacLennan run 30m to score his try. From the kick off Briskham scored for his second of the game.
Great tactical kicking from young Jamie Neale put the forwards in attacking positions for the backs to run off. Substitute Dave Pretty came on and caught every high ball, cover tackled very well and made a neat break to score under the posts.
Due to Cullumpton's front row injuries, the scrums had to go uncontested which gave the visitors a steady platform to score off twice.
"We are definitely improving game by game" said Wilce. "With a newly shaped squad for this season, it has taken time for players to become familiar with each other. We need to keep focussed and concentrate on one game at a time. We have been fortunate to have 3 consecutive games at home, the crown is really starting to pick up and we enjoy performing to our supporters."
Wilce finished with "We must be heading in the right direction because our coach, John May, even showed a slight smile at the end of the game"
The evening was completed with a "Quiz Night' of which 50 members dressed in fancy dress to try their best at answering 100 questions with a few drinks on the way!!
It was won by Team TOPGUN consisting of Michael O'Boyle, Andy Ball, Olly Lock and Matt Bailey. Well done lads.
23.9.06 Tavistock. 17pts...v...Camels First XV. 15pts.
"Camels will have their work cut out, travelling up to Tavistock." This is what has been echoing around the community for the last fortnight. This early in the league the Devon side has already been labelled league favourites. This was enough to motivate Camels, who with a few absent players, had there mind set on a better performance than last years 55 - 0 visit.
From the kick off Camels showed that they meant business with some big hits and powerful runs. The first score came with a break from the ever reliable Tom O'Donnell from his own 22m, off-loading to Angus MacLannen who sprinted 60m to score in the corner. Camels tails were high and Tavistock seemed shell-shocked. Good phases by Tavistock kept the visitors in their own half for several periods but the home team were unable to score. An excellent run by the Camels backs saw Sean Hawkey linking with Andy Cameron to dive in the corner which looked a try but the Devon referee over ruled the touch judge and said that a foot went in touch.
On the stroke of half time, Camels saw a huge overlap which would have seen a definite try only to see it dropped and the sniping Lee Gratreux scored in the corner for the home team to make it 5 -5 at the break.
In opening period of the second half, Tavistock made a break which caused Camels right wing Angus commit a professional foul and have 10 minutes in the sin bin. During this period, Tavistock capitalised on the extra man and came away scoring 2 tries giving them a lead of 17 - 5.
The slope against Camels and a 12 point difference, they really had their work cut out. The visitors' hard fitness sessions started to pay off as in the last 20 minutes of the game an excellent break from Matt Elston saw him run in to the left of the posts. Almost immediately from the kick off the Camels put some phases together up the slope and some fast passing from left to right saw gaps open up in midfield which let captain Gary Gynn sprint through Tavistock's split defence like Moses parting the Red Sea. The heads were high and the 30+ travelling supporters had belief. Camels thought that they had sealed the win when full back Dave Pretty chipped the ball through to the try line and dived for a well deserved win, only for the referee to again not allow it convinced that a Tavistock defender grounded it before Pretty. That was Camels last chance as just after that the final whistle was blown and it finished 17 - 15.
"We came here with real belief and show this league that we are true contenders. Every one of our players feel that we won that game. If just one of those tries were given the points were ours and we would see this as a famous victory" stated Wilce. "It is very disheartening to come here, play as well as we did and come away with nothing."
Coach John May was pleased with the performance. "the boys showed real character and fought back well to get within 2 points. A lot of teams heads would have dropped, but not ours." Our fitness has improved and it showed today. May pointed out flanker Gavin (teapot) West for his doggedness around the part and awarded him the Man of the Match.
16.9.06. Camels First XV.36pts...v..South Molton.3pts.
Wadebridge Camels were able to field a stronger side this week against a determined South Molton team. After a week of training which involved much fitness, new moves and ironing out creases, the Camels were able to give a convincing home win. Camels, captained by the return of lock Gary Gynn, showed some exciting rugby early on with some excellent backs moves which unfortunately came away with no score due to some final passes being dropped.
With the Camels having to battle hard against the agricultural forwards, there were stages of stale-mate. Finally, from nothing, Tom O'Donnell produced some of his magic and scored an excellent individual try. This was followed straight from the kick off with the forwards catching the ball, setting up a quick ruck then the ball span wide for the camels to score again. Towards the end of the first half Camels found themselves camped in their 22 for a 10 minute spell but great physical tackling and determination made sure that the visitors came away with nothing. But after a quick steal and holding on to the ball, South Molton got their first points through a penalty. Almost on the half time whistle Alistair MacLennan shot up the blind side to score a 30 meter sprint. This made the score 19-3.
In the second half the Camels backs had the majority of the ball due to domination in the line outs of Dan Lumb and Julian Wilce winning 100% of their ball and stealing much of theirs. The home sides 55 stone front 3 were beginning to breakdown their opponents which allowed the back line to blast away on every opportunity.
South Molton never gave up. In the second half they had the Camels stuck in their half and on two occasions were about to score, only to drop the ball both times. Camels soaked up the pressure and with a little kick up the back-side began to play rugby in the oppositions half. With this territorial advantage they were able to call two separate set play moves which were both successful. One seeing the wild haired Andy Cameron score in the corner, and the other being a typical open side try and good support play from Kev Derry after a run from MacLennan. Camels finished the day with one more try by Sean Hawkey (the one with hair!) which he converted taking the final score to 38-3.
Wilce stated that "We want this pitch to become a fortress and for it to have a reputation of being difficult to score tries let alone win here. The coaches set this to the players this week in training and on Saturday and the lads have done it."
"I do like the coach's way of thinking. He is never satisfied with the team until he sees perfection, so that certainly gives us something to work on!"
Coach John May says that there are still areas to work on , such as taking our chances more and all 15 having a visual awareness and read the game. He had no doubt in his mind of awarding scrum half Shaun Hawkey (the bald one) with the man of the match award for the way he played.
Wilce says, "What I really like about the Camels is that the three substitutes that came on all made a great impact. Kev likes the physical confrontation, Rich Treleaven is a tidy, solid player and Olly Hawkey is the quickest player over 50m. And the best thing about it is that the development side have many others that can start for the 1 st team. It makes training more interesting.
We want to play quality rugby and give the local community something to watch and get behind.