Wadebridge Camels crash to shock home defeat against Oldfield Old Boys
Wadebridge Camels 27, Oldfield Old Boys 51
WADEBRIDGE Camels came badly unstuck as they crashed to their biggest home defeat of the season against a side who were lying second from bottom of the South West One West table.
Their cause was not helped by the sending off of scrum half Adam Collings after only half an hour for a dangerous tackle on his opposite number.
However, they were already trailing 31-12 by that stage against a team whose three-quarter line particularly impressed in the dry and sunny conditions, and Oldfield ran in seven tries to Wadebridge's five.
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Oldfield scrum half Will Owen was particularly superb, closely followed by skipper and fly half Sean Lilley.
Camels need to bounce back quickly as they take on two-leagues-lower St Ives, who have only lost once all season, at home in the semi-final of the Tribute Cornwall Cup on Saturday (2pm).
"We played like a team who can't get promoted or relegated against one desperate for survival," said Wadebridge coach David Elston, who had no complaints at all over the red card for Collings.
"We were unable to match the desire and intensity of an Oldfield team who, almost unbelievably to the spectators on Saturday, are still threatened with relegation.
"Their scrum half was the game's outstanding player, and that was behind a pack that struggled in the scrums.
"We got drawn into a sevens-type game, and when we played with more structure after Adam had been sent off, we outscored Oldfield three tries to two, but we were never likely to come back from a bad opening 30 minutes.
"Things now need to be corrected this week if we are to reach the Cornwall Cup final by beating St Ives."
Camels were hit by a devastating three-try burst from Oldfield inside the opening 12 minutes to leave them trailing 17-0.
Playing into a firm breeze, they scored a touchdown through Owen from quickly recycled ball against a lethargic defence; the ball was then moved excellently through the backs for right winger Conrad Braithwaite to outpace the defence and dot down by the corner flag; followed by a 50-metre move after Lilley's kick had been charged down, which was finished off once more by Braithwaite, with centre Zak Ellis adding the conversion.
Camels finally started to get into the game, and a try by loose-head prop Richard Treleaven was quickly followed by another from No.8 Gary Gynn, converted by fly-half James Grubb, to make it 17-12 to the visitors.
However, an Oldfield line-out provided a good platform for a bonus-point fourth try for the visitors through Owen, who added another soon after, with both converted by Ellis, to put the Somerset-based side well in control at 31-12.
On the half-hour mark, Collings was sent off for a bad tackle near the halfway line to effectively end any hopes of a home comeback, but just before half-time, full back Will Pengelly slipped out of some tackles to score a fine try in the corner to leave Camels trailing 31-17 at the interval.
The second half started like the first, with Oldfield running the ball through a weak midfield after good line-out ball to score under the posts through centre Rob Payne, with Ellis improving the touchdown.
Two tries by hooker Matt Ballard, taking him to 21 for the season, secured Camels a try-scoring bonus point, but in between those scores, Oldfield kicked a drop goal through Lilley and a penalty by Ellis.
Lilley also provided the last try of the match when Camels dropped the ball inside their own 22, and Ellis added the extras to take Oldfield past the 50-point mark.
Wadebridge: Pengelly, Rowe, Johns, Lees (Betts), D Hawkey, James Grubb, A Collings, Treleaven, Ballard, Bilkey (Cullis), R Hawkey, M Grubb, Davey, Stone (capt) (Swabey), Gynn.
Wadebridge: Tries: Treleaven, Gynn, Pengelly, Ballard (2); Con: James Grubb.
Oldfield: Tries: Owen (3), Braithwaite (2), Payne, Lilley; Cons: Ellis (5); Pen: Ellis; Drop goal: Lilley.