This was a game full of incident. We had one potentially very serious injury to Rob Allen when he collided head first with a goal post in attempting to prevent the first Camborne try. The game was held up for 38 minutes whilst he received treatment on the field and was then taken to Treliske Hospital by ambulance.
Bridgwater received two yellow cards in quick succession just before half time.
The appointed referee, Darren Curry of the Cornwall Society injured a calf muscle in the first half and he was replaced at the interval by another Cornwall Society referee, Kevin Williams, whose exchange game in Somerset had been cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.
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The second half saw two red cards issued by the young and relatively inexperienced referee, one for each side. Both decisions looked very harsh.
Bridgwater continued with Stuart Heal at full-back and brought in Rob Prescott for the unavailable Roly Bryant. Ollie Dunn was fit again and resumed in the back row in place of Chris Webber who was unavailable.
Early exchanges were fairly even with Bridgwater failing to take advantage of time in the opposition 22. After 12 minutes, an innocuous-looking move right by Camborne suddenly found right winger Robert Floyd in a little space. He used his not inconsiderable pace and tore through several attempted tackles before diving over at the posts where Rob Allen received his totally accidental injury. Fly half, David Mankee, had to wait 38 minutes to land the conversion.
As a result of the injury, Bridgwater had to reshuffle their resources with Ollie Dunn moving into the backs and Sam Russell coming on in the back row.
Bridgwater then put Camborne under a lot of pressure as play was camped in the Camborne half for fifteen minutes.
Referee, Curry, by this time in obvious trouble with a calf injury, was unable to keep up with the pace of play and many of his decisions baffled crowd and players alike.
Camborne eventually broke the stranglehold and a dangerous breakout was stopped just feet from the Bridgwater line. Will Kerry was then yellow carded and Bridgwater were given a penalty. No, I could not work that one out, either!
Mankee then missed a long range penalty attempt before Matt Hastie also saw yellow, reducing Bridgwater to 13 men. It was no surprise that a Camborne driving maul produced a try, claimed by home skipper, David Roberts. Mankee converted with an excellent kick form the touchline to give the home side a 14-0 half time lead that some might say was a little flattering.
Even with Kerry back on the field for Bridgwater, Camborne had a very lively start to the second period and soon had a third try, this time for replacement Adam Kevern. Mankee again converted with an excellent kick.
With Hastie back on the field, the penalty count continued to mount against Bridgwater. With Camborne allowed to take quick penalties from the wrong positions and often well in front of the mark, Bridgwater’s defence was at sixes and sevens.
Camborne’s bonus point try came with half an hour remaining – and was very lucky. At a driving maul, the ball carrier became detached from his team-mates in front of him, who should then have been penalised for obstruction. However, they were allowed to go on, barge defenders out of the way, allowing Roberts to touch down his second try. Mankee showed some compassion by missing the conversion.
Almost immediately, poacher Matt Hastie was at it again as he scythed through the home defence for a try converted by Kerry.
Mid way through the half, home winger, Adam Knotman, was red-carded for illegally stopping another Hastie run but despite exerting pressure, Bridgwater could not make the extra man count.
Inside the final ten minutes, numbers were evened up when Christian Preece became the FIFTH Bridgwater player to be red-carded this season, rumour has it for a trip on a Camborne player.
Despite Ollie Dunn twice going close for Bridgwater, Camborne had the final word with a late try for Malcolm Hearn, converted by Mankee, for a comfortable win by 33-7 that takes them to second in the table.
Camborne ended up relatively easy winners of the game, but the result could have been much different. Bridgwater had enough possession and territory to win the game but the home side were far too streetwise, took their scoring chances well and also defended very stoutly.
Bridgwater’s backs looked lively at times, especially when they injected a little pace into the game and the pack were not overpowered by the Cornish eight.
Having won their last two home league matches, Bridgwater will be looking to make it ‘three in a row’ when they entertain Cleve next week before a day off on December 1st.
Tries: Roberts (2), Floyd, A. Kevern, Hearn
Cons: Mankee (4)
Bridgwater & Albion
Bridgwater Starting Team: Stuart Heal, Garryn Basson, Rob Allen, Will Kerry, Matt House, Dominik Griffin, Roger Drabble, Rob Prescott, Matt Hastie, Christian Preece, Rob Thompson, Doug Page-Symonds, Joe Stradling, Ollie Dunn, Dan Kemmish (Capt)
Replacements all used: Gavin Knight, Matt Northey, Sam Russell
Referees: Darren Curry (Cornwall Society) 2nd half replacement Kevin Williams (Cornwall Society)
Match report by Tony Pomeroy