FARNHAM Rugby Club enjoyed domination at either end of a fast and bruising encounter on a warm late summer’s day at Watchetts Lane, but they succumbed to a 36-15 defeat against Camberley.
The visitors flew into action from the whistle, quieting the Camberley crowd.
Farnham took the game to the hosts for the first ten minutes, with multiphase rugby spearheaded by skipper Oli Brown, the barnstorming Michael Salmon and a rejuvenated Pete Daly.
Phase after phase stretched the home defence. Much of the effort was absorbed by a spiky, aggressive Camberley rear-guard but a reward was due and it came through another attack after quick hands released winger Reece Stennett.
He was held on the ground after a tackle and a penalty was awarded to Farnham – an easy three for Toby Salmon.
Farnham could be pleased with their opening salvo after 10 minutes in the Camberley half, but ominous signs began to appear. The line out simply did not function and, after early success, the set scrum started to creak.
A wayward line out throw by Farnham saw the home backs snaffle the loose ball and launch a blistering breakout, culminating in a try out wide finished by winger Josh Wight.
The conversion by fly half Matt Smart, who was impressive throughout, gave Camberley the lead. During the next 20 minutes Camberley ramped up the tempo of the game.
Much of their thrust came from their second row giant Sammit and the driving power of centre Josh Lewanitua.
Farnham’s defence required a brutal team effort with Alex Chalker, Toby Salmon and brother Michael all putting their bodies on the line. This is a united Farnham squad and to a man they harried, chased and tackled but the consistent pressure began to tell.
A series of drives took the home pack into the visitors’ 22 resulting in a classic forwards try. Smart added the extras to make the score 14-3.
Still the visitors could not resolve their line out problems and, with the scrum under pressure that vital commodity, quick ball, was non-existent.
Camberley capitalised and Smart knocked over another penalty to give the home side a 17-3 lead at the break.
Farnham had to come out of the blocks to get back into the game, but it was not to be.
Camberley increased the pace, and after another wayward line out the all-important first score of the second period went to the home side.
The try was scored after Farnham had demolished the Camberley scrum under their own posts. The hosts rescued the ball and a full speed 100-metre breakout saw winger Wiltshire score out wide on the left wing to make it 22-5.
Coach Ali Chisholm rang the changes. On came Tim Salmon, an historic moment for mum Fiona as all three of her sons were now on the pitch – Michael, Toby and Tim.
Despite the changes Camberley were still rampant and ran in two more tries to stretch away to a 36-3 winning margin.
The last ten minutes, however, were all Farnham’s. At last a line out was secured and a galloping Pete Daly raced to the line, but the pop pass to Comley was deemed forward to disappoint the travelling Farnham faithful.
Undeterred, the Black and Whites came back and a typical Toby Salmon burst freed up Toby Comley to touch down by the corner flag.
With the clock running down Farnham scored the try of the game with a Toby Salmon off load to brother Tim, whose try under the posts set up an easy final kick for Toby to make the score 36-15.
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