Droitwich 2nd XV Kick Start League Campaign with big win at Camp Hill
By Andy Vizor
Camp Hill 2nd XV 24- 50 Droitwich 2nd XV
After two narrow losses in the Midlands Reserve League 2 campaign to date, it was crucial the newly promoted 2nd XV came away with a win on Saturday.
On arrival the boys were met with a huge crowd as Camp Hill RFC celebrated their VPs Day with 3 home fixtures, one played as an early kick off. This would not deter the squad however, just provide motivation to play hard.
The early exchanges were tense and both teams had opportunities to attack. Spa opened the scoring with 2 penalties kicked by skipper Andy Vizor. Then, after a superb touch finder from Louis Ellsmore, a successful lineout followed with a disciplined driving maul finished with Jamie Denby dotting down, conversion missed.
As the game continued Droitwich grew in confidence, bull dozing line breaks from Joey Roberts, dancing feet from Gregor Macleod and strong carries from the never-retired Nick Godfrey built pressure. A Godfrey offload to Charlie Wilkinson penetrated the defence, a deft tip on to Vizor in support allowed him to race over from the 30m out to extend the lead to 16-0. More pressure came and when Keith Adams broke through to score close the posts, with a conversion, made the score 23-0 at half time.
The comments at half-time were to keep cool heads, keep doing what we were doing and maintain pressure. Discipline had been good, and all the areas we were trying to work on from the previous weeks were improved.
The second half whistle blew and Camp Hill came out raring to go, after a shaky restart Spa seemed to have taken a nap and Camp Hill ran in 3 quick scores through some really weak defending Thankfully their kicker was having an off day and missed 2 conversions making it 23-19. Droitwich were shell shocked after a totally dominant first half and didn't seem to have an answer to the strong running of Camp Hill's big ball carriers and couldn't maintain any possession.
After some stern words in the huddle from the senior players, an attacking scrum on the half way saw the bull spun out wide to the backs. Louis Ellsmore, who had moved to full back, broke the line and swerved his way past several defenders to score under the posts and bring the momentum back in the visitor's favour.
Another score from Camp Hill made it 31-24 but Droitwich were in the ascendancy as the home side lost some key men to injury. 2 more penalties extended the lead.An attacking lineout on the 5m was hauled down short of the line (well, called down by Tim Cave short of the line!), then some short pick and goes got closer. Quick ball from Charlie Chalmers fed replacement Hooker Matt Wilkinson scampered over from short range to shore up the lead, converted by Vizor. Another Keith Adams breakaway after a poorly defended lineout allowed him to gallop in from 40m out and the game was done.
A great day to get back to winning ways for the Saltmen, and plenty of positives to take into next week. Only area of concern would be the defence, all 4 tries conceded were defendable and gives them food for thought before next Saturday, at home against Lichfield in another league fixture.
Tries - Adams 2, Vizor, Ellsmore, M.Wilkinson, Denby
Cons - Vizor 4
Pens - Vizor 4
1. Charlie Wilkinson
2. Joey Roberts
3. Ben Smith
4. Jamie Denby
5. Keith Adams
6. Stu Thomas (vc)
8. Nick Godfrey
9. Louis Ellsmore
10. Steve Poke
11. Tom Baker
12. Andy Vizor (c)
13. Gregor Macleod
14. Jacob Williams
15. Ollie Wilkinson
16. Matt Wilkinson
17. Craig Browne
18. James Dawson
19. Charlie Chalmers
20. Tim Cave