Despite no more than a 20 mins warm-up due to the traffic getting there, it was Camp Hill that started the brighter and set the tone for the match. With a young team eager to prove a point the lads came flying out the blocks putting Sutton on the back foot.
Strong running lines in open play with a seamless combinations between forwards and backs opened up space down the blindside and the hulk himself Chris Cole barged through the stretched Sutton defence and touched down for 5 points.
With Sutton struggling to get a foothold in the game, the relentless waves of attack from Camp Hill really should have yielded more points. On 3 occasions Sutton managed to turn the ball over on their own 5m line and clear upfield.
Sutton started to come to life and began testing the Camp Hill defence. However, after a swift counter attack Mark Alderson sliced through Sutton's defence like any good outside centre, to score under the posts for a converted try. Sutton struck back catching Camp Hill napping to score 2 tries of their ow. Jermaine Bernard took it upon himself to remind Sutton that it would take more than that to claim the lead and went on a bulldozing run that took no less than 6 players to bring him down!
The first half came to a close but not before Chris Cole glided in to score his second try of the game after cleverly 'resting' out on the wing!
The second half got underway with both sides playing expansive rugby. With a number of players struggling with illness, legs began to tire. However, Sutton had the advantage of calling on no less than 5 substitutes which expectedly tipped the scales firmly in their favour. An exhausted Camp Hill side had no answer for a re-energised and relentless Sutton, who scored 3 tries in a manic 10 minutes where Camps could only reply with a 3 point penalty kicked by Thomas Fleming.
However, with pride at stake the lads found a second wind and finished the game the stronger, pushing hard for another try.
With only 16 players and virtually no preparation, the lads did themselves justice and showed the character and determination that has been abundant this season. The score line does not reflect the game and had Sutton not being able call upon a bench full of fresh players, the result would have been very different.
There were various stand out performances...
Shawn Lindeque - Captaining the side again, he lead from the front and tackled fiercely. Apart from a minor blemish at a line out (which resulted in a Sutton try!) it was hard to find fault with the young Bok.
Chris Cole - Was monstrous in the loose and even came close to injuring a few of our own players with his furousity in the set piece!
Jermaine Bernard - Proved once again that class is permanent! Filling in at 12 for the day, he showed that size isn't everything and more than covered for the absence of the Humpo and Curtis. His terrier like running always kept us on the front foot.
Mark Alderson - Another typically industrious performance with the hooker excelling in the loose and were it not for some poor caching from his jumpers, a near faultless set piece!
George O'Hanlon - Having only made his debut this season, he is quickly establishing himself as one of the most consistent performers in the 2nd XV. Solid in defence, he never missed a tackle. Had he been given more space, he would have had a try or 2 also.
Thomas Fleming - Pulled the strings in attack and also kicked well. It's hard to believe this flamboyant magician can also play prop!
However, The Beech House, Solihull MOTM and picking up a Meal for Two had to go to Dan Halifax (pic) who came off the wing to play flanker. He covered every blade of grass, tormented the opposition at the ruck and tackled anything that moved. I have no idea how his body stays in one piece, but he certainly puts it on the line for the team!
This is proving to be a testing season having been promoted out of our comfort zone, but it's clear that the lads are rising to the challenge and developing as a squad because of it.