Derby delight for classy Coopers
PUBLISHED: 19:22 07 November 2012 | UPDATED: 19:27 07 November 2012
Daily Mail Under-15 Cup: Campion 22 Coopers 41
A dazzling first-half display from Coopers proved decisive in an entertaining derby battle at Wingletye Lane today.
The visitors ran in four tries with some fine free-flowing rugby to threaten a rout, but Campion battled back well in the second half to close the gap.
Their hopes were ended once and for all five minutes from time, though, as Coopers claimed the 11th and final try of the match to book a home date with Dartford or Chislehurst & Sidcup next month.
Coopers had opened the scoring with a try from scrum-half George Daly, whose elder brother Jack just missed out on a trip to Twickenham with the school three years ago and is now with Wasps.
And more nice passing in the backs saw Fred Houseago send Michael Bottone in at the left corner for a second try, which was superbly converted from the touchline by Alfie Studd.
Studd converted his own try moments later, having stepped inside his man to touch down, and was on target again after fly-half Alex Meads had forced his way over close to the posts.
Campion, starved of possession for the most part, hit back shortly before the interval with a stunning solo effort from George Adams.
But Coopers moved 31-5 up early in the second half when no.8 Seb Fisher stretched out an arm close to the line to ground the ball for their fifth try.
Fabrizio Valentini denied Bottone with a try-saving tackle before Ruairi Henderson’s rampaging run took Campion upfield.
The hosts maintained their momentum, with Joe Howe carrying them forward, and flanker Dan Cassettari eventually got the ball down for their second score.
Suddenly showing more belief and forcing Coopers on to the back foot, Campion closed the gap to 14 points when scrum-half Tommy Saunders spotted a gap to snipe his way over on the left and Frankie Hazel converted.
But Coopers replied when Hazel’s chip kick was collected by Bottone, who ran it back with interest for his second try of the match.
Studd’s conversion attempt hit the left post and, after Alex McLean and Callum Kane had made good yards, Howe plunged over for a close-range score to renew Campion’s hopes with eight minutes remaining.
Hazel’s drop-kick conversion missed the target, though, and Coopers had the final say when the quick-thinking Daly burrowed his way over from a quick tap penalty from a matter of yards.
Campion – Tries: Adams, Cassettari, Saunders, Howe. Con: Hazel.
Coopers – Tries: Daly (2), Bottone (2), Studd, Meads, Fisher. Cons: Studd (3).