RUGBY: Camborne v Hornets match report
CAMBORNE'S proud 20-month unbeaten record at the Recreation Ground was brought to a halt by a powerful Hornets side who continued their steady rise up the Tribute South West 1 West table.
The Cherry & Whites' victory over Chard on November 9 had stretched their run to an amazing 20 home league wins in a row and had lost just once – to champions Brixham in March 2012 at the Rec in South West 1 since March 2011 – a remarkable 33 matches in total.
In the build up to the game the Camborne camp had predicted that this game was going to be tough, how right they were, as the visitors held the whip hand over the home side for virtually the whole game.
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Frustratingly, little did Camborne know that both the top sides, Cleve and St Austell had slipped up too, and they had passed up on a chance to put real pressure on those sides above them.
Following the match, Camborne's captain Steve Kenward acknowledged that his side were second best on the day.
He said. "Hornets came into this game having lost three games this season, all to sides in the top three. They are a big side, very handy and we were second best today in all departments on the field.
"We can look to the second half, when we did have a few chances, but we were not clinical enough in our possession of the ball and didn't look after it enough and didn't convert our chances and that's killed us.
"Hornets ran well with the ball showing good intent, a lot of their points came from our mistakes and we must look at those areas this week in training before our trip to Thornbury on Saturday.
"If we want to be the promotion mix this season we can't afford to slip too far off the pace of the leading sides. After a poor start on the road we have picked it up and we will be targeting a win next Saturday.
"Hopefully after Christmas we shall get a few players back from injury and then in the new year we can push on."
Camborne winger Rob Floyd led his side out on the occasion of his 100th game for the Cherry and Whites. From the kick-off, Hornets immediately looked the livelier side with their big centres Jack and Joe Gadd punching large holes in the Camborne defence, while in the forwards they had some big ball carriers in No8 Matt Parker and lock Phil Hogarth.
For the Cherry and Whites, hooker Sam Bartle carried well throughout with No8 James Goldsworthy also prominent.
However, it came as no surprise that the visitors took the lead after nine minutes when prop Alec Chase finished off a catch-and-drive in the clubhouse corner. Winger Jermaine Jones kicked the conversion, his first two points from a personal haul of 19 points including two tries.
Camborne got their first points of the game shortly after as full-back Dave Mankee kicked a long-range penalty on 13 minutes.
Hornets then survived a good period of Camborne pressure before striking with a second try.
A crunching tackle on a Camborne player near the half-way line saw the ball go loose, Jones picked up the ball for Hornets to run in for an unconverted try in the scoreboard corner.
Mankee reduced the deficit for Camborne before half-time with a second penalty to leave his side trailing 12-6 at the break
Camborne began the second half with greater intent, however, a combination of their own errors and good defence from the Hornets kept them at bay, with Camborne conceding a penalty allowing the visitors to clear their lines.
Hornets got themselves an attacking scrum up the Hubert's Hill corner, from which the ball was moved wide with Jones off his wing slipping the defence to score under the posts, the conversion of his own try putting Hornets 19-6 up on 55 minutes.
Mankee chipped away at the deficit with a couple of penalties, before the visitors pulled away again with the try-scoring bonus point try as scrum-half Sean Disney got in amongst the forwards as Hornets drove for the Camborne line.
Jones' conversion gave the visitors clear daylight at 26-12 up with just ten minutes remaining.
Camborne, to their credit, showed great spirit to conjure up a fine try, scored by replacement back Joe Parma, who was well served by winger Alex Ducker in the scoreboard corner.
But Town's indiscipline saw them concede a penalty bang in front of the posts which Jones kicked to extend Hornets lead to 29-17 and with it extinguish any faint hopes Camborne had of contriving a score to snatch a losing bonus point.
In the dying minutes, winger Tom Bradley put the icing on the cake for Hornets win, running in his side's fifth try from half-way.
His jinking run left a few tired Camborne players rooted to the spot, and although he was finally tackled just short of the line he was able to place the ball over the line for the score.
By then Camborne already knew the game was up and will be looking to get back to winning ways at Thornbury on Saturday.