Combe compete hard until injuries & yellow cards stymie their challenge
By Mark Ley
Camberley RFC 54-22 Westcombe Park RFC
With the score 27-22 for the home side at the half way point Combe were
still in with a strong shout but a scoreless second period coupled with
a string of cards gave Camberley what was in the end a deserved victory.
The 21 points conceded by Westcombe Park in the last 5 minutes when down to 11 not only
gave Camberley the bonus point but a scoreline on the flattering side.
Camberley took the lead on the 5 minute mark, scoring from close range
after Combe had infringed a couple of times in their own 22 and
Camberley got the squeeze on in the scrum. Camberley stand off Smart was
accurate with the boot to give the homeside the start they wanted.
Combe hit back 10 minutes later. Centre Bryan Young made good yardage
and recycled for wing Sammy Sema to muscle through the Camberley defence
to score in the corner. A difficult conversion was narrowly missed.
Camberley were quick to react and weren't slow either to show some good
juggling skills, when first full back Tom Allen juggled once to retain
possession and then was outdone by his centre who needed at least three
attempts to clutch the ball before crossing the line. Again Smart
slotted the points.
With 20 minutes gone the home side extended their lead to 17-5.
Camberley's Smart kicked the penalty when Combe infringed at the scrum
and incurred the referee's displeasure by offering some advice on the
niceties of front row play to increase the sanction to a full penalty.
Both sides were going at it hammer and tongs in the close exchanges and
at one point there seemed to be bodies flying everywhere. Both backlines
looked dangerous when they got hold of quality ball. Combe were next to
score when full back Matt Harrison scorched through from half way and
had the nous to release Bradley Saffery who scored under the posts.
James Cameron kicked the conversion. 17-12 for the home side.
Again Camberley hit back quickly with a rapid burst down the left with
Combe's defence complaining that there had been some blocking. But if
this was the case it went unseen and the score stood. Camberley then
went down to 14 men when yellow carded for a high tackle and the
visitors took advantage first with a James Cameron penalty and then
through a Bryan Young try after Matt Harrison had shown a fine burst of
speed for the second time.
At 24-22 that was as close as it would get for Combe as on the stroke
of half time the visitors were caught in front of the posts for an easy
3 points for Camberley.
Halftime Camberley 27-22 Westcombe Park RFC
Camberley put some daylight between themselves and Combe via a couple of
penalties in the 3rd quarter of the game to ease to a 33-22 lead. There
was some encouragement for the visitors firstly through a line break
from Harrison which came to nought, then some inroads made by centres
Young and Saffrey and finally with flankers Pohlen and Milligan bashing
up the middle. However the moves either fizzled out or came up against a
firm home team defence.
Then came the trio of yellow cards and for Combe for a variety of offences making it impossible to keep Camberley from scoring let alone get on the scoreboard themselves, this compounded by an injury to a front rower forcing uncontested scrums and the removal of a further player. 3 tries including a penalty try came with the clock ticking down and Combe faced a long road home with nothing to show for their fine efforts in the 1st half.
It has to be said that throughout the match Camberley edged it at scrum
time and, with Combe's lineout misfiring, it was going to be difficult
to beat the 3rd placed side on their home patch. All credit to a tough
home pack who gave their backs a good amount of quality possession
especially in the latter stages of the second half to secure the win.
Combe are back at Goddington Dene next week for the visit of Havant.
Westcombe Park RFC : Conlon, Hackett, Simmons T, Clarke, Delderfield,
Pass, Pohlen, O'Sullivan, Smith, Cameron, Hamilton, Young, Saffery,
Replacements: Fernandez, Milligan, Livett
Match Report: John Vallely