Bookended between two county cup matches, Woodford provided perfect opposition for a hard-fought, competitive match that ultimately finished with a confidence-boosting win in an excellent all-round performance that was void of many of the errors that blighted last weekend's victory.
On a particularly blustery day (it wouldn't have been surprising to see Winnie-the-Pooh blow across the pitch with Piglet in the air on the end of a piece of string) Woodford started the game with the advantage of the wind behind them, making it difficult for Camelot to ease any pressure with kick clearances. However, having absorbed much early pressure Camelot hit the first blow, in a game that had been extremely tight with every metre gained being a battle it was a surprise to everyone to see James Norman breaking free down the wing following an excellent interception. Almost unchallenged he completed the try, but was unable to follow-up with the conversion, charged down by a quick thinking defence. 5-0.
Still against the wind that lead was soon doubled when Caolan knocked the opposition scrum-half flying as he tried to gather the ball, this created the space for an attack that saw Ben gain a few more yards before popping the ball out the back of his hands to Freddie who showed great strength in finishing off the score. In such windy conditions, Dan had no chance with the conversion. 10-0.
Woodford continued to pressure and attack never letting their heads drop, but with Camelot having the wind advantage after the break more tries for the boys in blue and white looked likely. Managing the game superbly the boys delivered a mature combination of kicking and taking the ball into contact with some powerful runs from Thomas, George and Andrew gaining valuable yards with each attack.
With the battles being won, and the ball being retained, the hard work started to create opportunities, and it was Freddie who exploited a rare gap in the defence, breaking the line to score unchallenged. Dan kicked the conversion superbly to increase the lead to 17-0.
Early in the game the scrums had been very evenly contested pushes, but as the game wore on Camelot started to once again show their formidable domination in the 8-man shoves; and it was from a scrum 10 metres from the Woodford try line that the next score came. It was a Woodford put-in, but they soon found themselves on the back foot enabling James Isaacs to pick the ball out of the back and power towards the line. Stopped five metres short George was soon in support to pick up the baton and drive the ball over the line. 22-0, and looking comfortable, even with the conversion being blown wide.
This was turning into an excellent Camelot performance with Forwards and Backs combining well to minimise the threat of the opposition whilst constantly threatening attacks with Toby now putting in some powerful runs gaining valuable yards. The next score came from a great passing move before Woody burst through on a run, when he was stopped Thomas took over the battering duties, eventually stopped just inches from the try line, perfect territory for James Isaacs in support to pick the ball up and score over the line. 27-0, the conversion falling short of the posts.
Credit to Woodford, they never game and continued to work hard and play the game in the right spirit, eventually rewarded for their efforts with a well-worked breakaway try. A quick drop-kick conversion made the score 27-5.
However, almost straight from the restart Terence scored try number six for Camelot (much to the delight of the headline writers!), another attacking move worked down to the wing with Ben passing out wide to Terence who made no mistake in running the ball home. Dan drop-kicked the conversion to finish off a wonderful all-round team performance that should be the perfect tonic going into next week's county cup semi-final. As Winnie-the-Pooh once said on a particularly blustery day in the Hundred Acre Wood, "Remember, you’re braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think.” Bravery, belief, strength and smartness were in abundance from the ever-impressive blue and white dynamite.
FT: Camelot 34-7 Woodford
Tries: James N, Freddie 2, George, James Isaacs, Terence
Cons: Dan 2