(by the Report Monkey)
The 3s had been waiting for our chance to avenge the heavy defeat suffered at the hands of Cambourne earlier in the season. So when the winds died down to give perfect rugby weather you knew it was going to be a good battle day.
Cantabs received the kick off and were soon making their pressure felt for the 1st 20 mins of the game a steady pattern emerged we would make our way into their half, through some great team play and through some great breaks by Cyril and Darren among others. Then Cambourne would just manage to hold us out or turn over the ball in the scrums (an area they unfortunately had the beating of us in), they would then kick the ball over and we could start again.
We were unlucky not to capitalise on some great centre play by Chris and Craig, or the lovely charge down by Ash.
It was cambourne whom broke the deadlock when their man managed to find his way around the outside to dot down in the corner. 0-5.
This seemed to spur them on and they attacked with an increased vigour but our defence stayed strong and every player to a man was putting in the hits to stop them coming through. And the half ended 0-5.
My favourite moment of the half was the look of confusion on Ash's face as he tried to find the ball he had charged down (it was net to his foot!).
With such great numbers available this week there were several pairs of new legs itching to get on so Shaggy, Sacha and Dan S made way for Justin, Dan B and Scott. With more to come when I could work out who most deserved a rest.
The 2nd kicked off and with-in minutes Cyril found himself in possession of the ball, he then found a gap in front of him, he then found the pace to make it to the over the line before Cambourne could stop him!! Then again who expects a 40m running try from a Hooker!?! Darren added the extras 7-5.
Feeling that we had earned our rest Jack and I made way for Finn and Brad. At it was not long before they were in among the pressure we were now applying.
Though it was unfortunately Cambourne who were next on the score board, when again after they could not surpass the solid defence they managed to creep around it 7-12.
We battled well from then and most of the rest of the game was played in their half. From a penalty Ollie passed it to Dave, who expertly drew in a couple of their players before a last minute pop to Cyril who burst/powered his way through to get over for his second. Darren again added the extras 14-12.
We made our last couple of changes with Jon R coming on for Robbo and Mateus on for Kieth.
We then suffered a big loss when Cyril took a huge (and some would say highly questionable) shoulder to the head. Early reports are nothing broken though. Jack returned to the field to replace him leaving us uncontested for the last few minutes.
We were unlucky (or you could say they defended too well) to not score from several great bits of team work and some lovely lines run by Chris, Craig, Dave, Dan B and Brad to name a few.
With a minute left Cambourne had a line out on their 22, what followed was possibly one of the strangest ends to a game I have ever seen, and it is a story that will probably be told different by every single person there!
Cambourne worked the ball from right to left where they were stopped by some solid tackling. However some ill discipline at the ruck gave them a penalty advantage, we then legally drove over and Darren picked up the ball thinking it was time over kicking it out of play. Sir adjudged their was still time for the penalty and Cambourne were sure the ball had been kicked out before the pen was awarded so Sir moved the pen forward to with-in kicking range.
Now is were it gets a lot confusing so I will try my best not to be biased...
The kick was short (though several sets of eyes saw it go over, all belonging to Cambourne), then in the confusion Jon tapped the ball down (though many sets of eyes didn’t see, as most were looking at the touch judges to see what was happening), he then ran out for a 22 (not realising time was up), the cambourne centre saw him running out managed to strip him of the ball and dive over the line. After consulting with the touch judge about the pen, Sir who did not see the ball touched down, and who unfortunately for us had the only pair of eyes that count in such situations, awarded them the try!
14-17 a bitter way to lose a game. But compared to the defeat from the start of the season a massive improvement.
MoM is not getting any easier to pick as week after week the whole team is performing as one great unit with all players drawing themselves up to the standard of anyone who starts to shine. Names to mention would be Darren, Cyril, Kieth, Tim, Dan S, Shaggy, Jack, Dave, Ollie, Robbo, Chris, Craig, Sacha, Ash, Scott, Dan B, Justin, Brad, Finn, Mateus and Jon.
Though with 2 tries and several big hits and big breaks this week Cyril take a bow.
DoD – not many contenders for this one, Jon. Not for not being clearer in his tap down, not for running out for a 22 thinking there was still game time, but for getting stripped of the ball like a little baby bird!!!