The Jug just slips from Grasp
By Chey Dupe
Camberley 3's win Surrey Jug in Finals day at Cobham
With the early meet and luxury coach to the ground Chipstead 2's were in buoyant mood when they arrived at Cobham for their first ever cup final.
Like the weather on the day Chipstead 2's have been quite unpredictable this season turning on some great performances but not with any level of consistency but the feeling in the changing room was very up beat - Vice Captain Martin 'Forrest' Floodgate had to make some difficult decisions in selecting the match-day squad when he was able to select from nearly every one of the 30 something players that had been part of the team this season. The one big name missing being Captain Jamie who picked up a bad shoulder injury in the final league game of the season and was going to be a big miss but he was there to rally the troops with his pre-match team talk.
Having won the toss and realising the weather was going to be an issue Forrest elected to take the conditions in the first half and it appeared to be the correct decision - the forward dominance and good kicking from Jeevo, at 10, from the start meant that Camberley were barely able to exit their own half as wave on wave of strong forward carries, fed from Dane at scrum half, drove Chipstead regularly to the line.
The Tight 5 of Chey, Forrest, Jon W, Paul and Josh tore through scrum after scrum generating good ball from both teams feeds and although not getting the benefit from the ref on a number of strong scrums it did leave the Camberley side reeling and having to make rapid changes in the tight forwards in an attempt to stem the flow. It was Forrest who was the first to penetrate the line and was able to convert his own try. Chipstead had set the tempo of the game and even when Camberley were able to get hold of the ball the back row of Handsome Driver, Flacky and Paulie W stopped them at source. After further opportunities Paulie was finally able to burrow his way over the line not far enough out for Forrest to convert tho unfortunately.
But whilst completely on top a combination of good defence, poor referee positioning and some careless mistakes meant that only the two scores counted at the half-time whistle.
Camberley 0 - Chipstead 12
A number of changes were made and perhaps that and the adjustment of playing into the wind caused Chipstead to start the second half a bit slower and whilst the scrum remained a regular source the Camberley backs actually started to see more of the ball and only some great tackling from Bridgey and Charlie in the centres kept them at bay early on but slowly they started to get the upper hand.
Whilst Chipstead 1st XV were along to give their excellent vocal support - Camberley 3's inexplicably had their 1st XV fall-back, Tommy Allen, on the field of play and with ball in hand he started to show off his abilities - A clear line break from under his own sticks he was only just denied a try when he was hauled down a couple of metres short by wing George Buckwell. Eventually the pressure told and Camberley broke the line and was successfully converted. With tails up Camberley kept putting the ball wide to try and get around the Chipstead defence but when that failed they used their hard running centre to generate good field position and scored after a good passage of interplay and off-loading. The score was converted to put them in the lead for the first time.
Chipstead rallied and went back to the tight forward game that had worked so well early on and were camped on the line once more unfortunately with the try looking inevitable a careless knock-on broke the pressure and Camberley were able to scramble the ball clear.
The match was in the balance and Chipstead found themselves still not really getting the benefit of the decisions from the referee with their pack dominance and started getting a little frustrated and allowed a fairly soft try to be scored in the corner.
With time running out Chipstead threw everything they had left into the opposition the replacements of Big Will, Spiv, Fraser and Alessio were all on and trying to find the smallest opening. With just about the final play of the game it was Alessio who picked the ball up from the base and was driven through the defence and over the line.
It seemed there could be extra-time beckoning if Forrest could complete the comeback and convert the try. It was hit beautifully and as it looped it's way straight at the posts it appeared the gods were not pleased as a strong wind picked up almost from nowhere and started to slow the ball down. What happened next was slightly bewildering as the ball appeared to go over the bar and through the posts only to be blown backwards and drop a few inches back on the wrong side !
The conversion was chalked off and although there was a brief moment of hope when Fraser was able to gather the ball at the restart a rush of blood meant he also then kicked the ball down the field and the wing was able to nudge the ball dead for the Camberley win.
Camberley 19 - Chipstead 17.
It didn't help afterwards to hear that on finals day there was no extra time - the winner was the team who had the most tries and if that was the same (as it was) it was the team who scored the first one that would of taken the trophy !
Obviously devastated and frustrated at the result there was a common believe in the group of players that it had been one of the best team performances of the season and to a man had left everything on the field.
It was then back to Chipstead for the end of season party and players awards.