Result: Luctonians 7 – 26 Camp Hill (W)
After securing a narrow 22-17 victory over Luctonians at home in the opening game of the season, this was always going to be a tough game and it didn’t disappoint! A minor error in judgement regarding coach timings, saw Camp Hill arrive 2 hours prior to kick off. However, this allowed the team to get the coach journey out of their system and get a full and comprehensive warm-up under their belts.
The game got off to a flying start with the intensity levels at their highest from the get go. Luctonians provided more than a match for Camps and put us under early pressure. Strong and hard running line tested Camp Hill’s defensive line forcing us onto the back foot from the start.
With most of the opening 20 mins played deep in the Camp Hill half, some big questions were being asked of the side’s defensive organisation. But Camps absorbed the early pressure in open play and countered that by making their presence felt early on in the set piece. The pack were nothing short of monstrous in the scrum and managed to steal one against the head. This saw Adam Pinfield emerge with the ball and break 30m downfield, with Ciaran Freeth on hand in support to take it on another 30m. Camps had the try-line in their sights and the Luctonians defence was in disarray. Some quick recycling at the breakdown saw the ball spread wide and Jermaine Bernard crossed in the corner to get Camps on the score board but perhaps against the run of play. 0-5
The try seemed to bring about a change in the tide and Camps began to enjoy long periods of possession. However, when Luctonians did attempt to starve Camps of the ball, some superb work at the breakdown ensured it was quickly won back.
Both sides continued to exchange blows but with half time approaching, Camp Hill were awarded a penalty and opted to kick for touch. A slick lineout move from Camps just outside the opposition 22 quickly turned into a driving maul that Luctonians simply couldn’t handle. The pack maintained its momentum for the line and drove over from 30m out for Ciaran Freeth to dot the ball down and open up some daylight between the sides. 0-12
There was nothing but praise for the players at half time and more of the same was asked. Camps Started the second half how they ended the first, dominant in possession and immovable in defence. Rich Brown seemed to find the smallest of gaps in the Luctonians defence and burst through. Bouncing a couple players on his way to the line, he crossed for a try. 0-19
However, Luctonians responded and pinned Camp Hill back on their own 5m line. Camps defended hard to repel the sustained waves of attack. However, the referee deemed that Camp Hill had infringed on too many occasions at the breakdown and awarded Luctonians a penalty try. 7-19. This lead to a nervy final period of the game, with Luctonians throwing everything they had at Camp Hill to try and get back in it. Despite Luctonians valiant efforts, Camp Hill managed to peg them back to their own try line and after stealing yet another scrum against the head, Regan Rowley crashed over to secure victory.
FULL TIME: 7-26 (Camp Hill Win)
The Set piece was a big difference between the sides. The scrum was an unstoppable juggernaut, which in no small part, was down to the tireless work of the front Row. Phil Dams, Aaron White, James Kimberley and replacement Luke Coutanche were superb, winning 11 against the head. The Lineout was just as successful with seamless cohesion between Aaron White and his 2 jumpers, Shawne Lindeque and James Trigger Hollies. Alert jumping from Shawne also saw Camp Hill win a large amount of opposition ball to starve Luctonians of possession.
The team performance was nothing short of outstanding, both from the starting XV and the 4 players coming off the bench. However, a few players deserve a special mention…
Ciaran Freeth – Had his best game in a Camp Hill shirt! Carried the ball superbly and was immovable in defence. His work at the breakdown proved he is adapting well to back row and making the number 8 shirt his own.
Adam Pinfield – Owned the breakdown area with 6 turnovers and managed to put in some bone crunching tackles to halt any momentum Luctonians attempted to build in attack.
Danny Ingram – In a game where tempers flared and it looked like boiling over on occasion, Danny provided the much needed calmness and level headed team talks to keep the lads focused. Lead from the front as always, putting his aging body on the line in defence.
Phil Dams – Lasted the full 80 mins despite claiming he wouldn’t be able to! Was Titanic in the scrum and outstanding in the lose. Sacked the opposition scrum half on 4 occasions off the back of rucks.
Jonny Betty – Carried well to breach the gain line and spear head the Camp Hill attack. Was a rock in defence also.
Regan Rowley – Showed what he is capable of and what Camp Hill have been missing all season! Made a big impact coming off the bench, shoring up the break down and tackling anything in sight! Even managed to mark his return to the side with a well taken try.
MOTM has to go to the magician that is Rich Brown! Kept us on the front foot and seemed to conjure up something out of nothing to keep the Luctonians defence guessing. He put in some big hits and key turn-overs, but his play making kept the backline ticking.
4 more games to go and all eyes are firmly set on 2nd place and promotion to Division 2!