Following their recent good form the London Cornish programme notes for this the final League game of the season were at least accurate in one of its statements – ‘It is well documented that London Cornish have never achieved 4 wins on the bounce’ as the black and ambers took the honours in a scrappy game which Cam should have closed out much earlier than in the last couple of minutes of injury time.
The opening 5 mins saw Cornish on the offensive but a missed penalty allowed Cam some possession and they almost scored when, following a break by JJ, the final pass was adjudged forward. From a scrum deep in their 22 Cornish broke clear and when the Cam defence was penalised, they took play up to within 10m of the visitors line and from the resulting scrum forced their way over for a converted try after 15 mins.
Cam replied straight from the restart when Jayde kicked a penalty making the score 7-3. The game then became very scrappy and although Cam were awarded a string of penalties they were unable to add to their score before half time which actually occured more than 50mins after ko in a game with few injuries and stoppages of significance.
Cam started the second half with much more intent against a tiring Cornish side and after 48 minutes a series of attacks saw winger Dan Lewis cross in the corner to move the black and ambers into the lead. At this stage it was all Cam but the faithful ‘Boys in Pink’ were temporarily silenced when, completely against the run of play, their English and Commonwealth Power lifting Champion prop was stripped of the ball by one of the more diminuitive Cornish threequarters who scampered away to make the score 8-12. after 54 mins.
Cam came back straight from the restart and were unlucky not to have been awarded a try when Jayde was driven over the try line following some excellent running in the backs, and from the resulting 5m scrum #8 Hoff was bundled into touch.
Again, against the run of play, Cornish extended their lead with a well struck penalty from halfway to make the score 8-15 after 70 mins however Cam were not giving in easily and again more pressure saw Tom Keith drive over for a try close to the corner flag but with Jaydes difficult conversion falling just short it meant that with just a few minutes left Cornish were still in the lead. However we were all about to be treated to some Lewis magic when Dan collected the restart in his own 22 and stepped and burned his way through at least half of the opposition to score one of the tries of the season – and impressively he had more of his own side than opposition around him when he touched down.
With the conversion successful making the score 20-15 this was almost the last action of the game and the season giving the black and ambers a well deserved win against a durable but ordinary Cornish side who clearly ran out of steam and had little to offer in the second period.
A great result for Cam who despite their wobble in the period up to Xmas have managed to get things together for a series of good performances in the New Year.
This was a great team performance with Andy Wreakes having a fine game at scrum half , young Andy G giving a master class in tackling and support play at 7, good offence and defence across the threequarters and, particularly in the second period, the increasing dominance of the front five but the man of the match and also voted Player of the Season at the players dinner later that evening, was once again ‘The Hoff’ who is clearly growing into his new role at 8 and made many punishing runs into the heart of the Cornish defence which eventually buckled under the pressure this created.
Overall a very satisfactory season in this new League with a mid table finish despite the horrendous injury problems suffered in Nov and December and with much learned by the coaches to enable them to prepare for next season.