Camberley 10 Medway 12 (London 1 South) 04th January 2020

Medway travelled to 3rd placed Camberley on Saturday for their first game after the Christmas break. Alex O’Leary and Sam Garofalo were restored to the team for what was expected to be a hard fought encounter. Camberley were comfortable winners at Medway earlier in the season.  To welcome in the new year the weather was bright and dry with a stiff breeze blowing the length of the pitch.  Camberley started brightly retaining possession and going through multiple phases as they advanced towards the Medway line. Medway’s defence was solid and after 5 minutes of relentless pressures they won a scrum following a Camberley knock-on.  The scrum was won comfortably but unfortunately the kick to touch was missed and Camberley were back on the offensive. Medway eventually won the ball back but knocked-on, however, they  drove the Camberley scrum backwards winning the first of numerous scrum penalties.  On 25 minutes Medway lost their Hooker Billy Sandison to a calf injury, he was replaced by the evergreen Ross Cooley.  Then it was Medway’s turn to attack but the excellent Camberley defence kept them out and that was the pattern for the remainder of the first half, lots of effort but neither side being able to break the defensive line.

The first half ended 0 – 0.

Medway had a penalty early in the second half but the kick was missed.  On 50 minutes Camberley won a lineout, drove forward then moved the ball through the backs and scored a well worked try. The kick was missed but Camberley had the all important lead, 5 – 0.  After good work by the Camberley pack they drove over the Medway line to score another try, the kick was missed but they now lead by 10 – 0.  Medway worked hard to get themselves back into the game and were camped on the Camberley 5 meter line, after numerous scrum penalties the Camberley loose head prop was yellow carded. They eventually cleared their line.  On 75minutes after a strong break into the Camberley half by Max Bullock the resulting breakdown ball was  kicked cross-field for Alfie Orris to gather and score for Medway. Dan Harvey slotted the conversion to make the score 10 – 7 to Camberley.  This raised the self-belief of this young Medway side and they continued to attack but desperate Camberley defence kept them out. Then following another Camberley penalty at the breakdown  James Dance took a quick tap catching the defence unawares and squeezed over the line for the winning try! The conversion was narrowly missed and the referee blew his whistle for no side.

An exciting end to a hard fought game played in the right spirit.