Rampant Romford leave Campion in the cold
PUBLISHED: 17:42 30 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:42 30 January 2016
London 2NE: Campion 7 Romford & GP 87
Rampant Romford ran in 14 tries in a demolition derby day romp against a shortstaffed and shellshocked Campion at a chilly Cottons Park.
But while the bonus-point success will give Park a confidence boost in their battle to avoid the drop from London Two North East, a second successive hammering will have done little for Campion’s hopes of survival.
The hosts had lost their last seven matches heading into this clash, going down 62-0 at leaders Saffron Walden a week earlier, while Park had been beaten in their six most recent outings.
Campion had earned the bragging rights when the sides met at Crow Lane in late October, winning 11-9, but there was never much doubt about who would win the return once Romford had run in two tries inside 10 minutes.
Mitchell Smith hit the post with a first-minute penalty – as a cross-wind made life difficult for kickers – and Park butchered two good scoring opportunities with knock-ons inside the 22.
But the visitors, who could afford to leave veteran Steve Barfoot out of their 18-man squad, opened the scoring on five minutes when captain Micky James forced his way over from a line-out catch and drive move and it was 10-0 soon after as number eight Paul Bradley sent a looping pass to George Robertson and he moved the ball on to winger Sam Coomber to sprint up the right touchline and over.
Campion’s Ollie Lee responded with a good run through midfield, but his offload was knocked on by a team-mate and Park countered to win a penalty in front of the posts, which Smith knocked over.
Romford’s pack were dominating at the scrum, but Campion hit back with a scrappy try when the ball went to ground from a line-out and was kicked towards the line, with Chris Smith winning the foot race to get his hand to it first.
Smith added the conversion to make it 13-7, but the home side’s joy was shortlived as scrum-half Reece Parr picked up from the base of a scrum and forced his way over at the other end.
More good hands in the Romford backs allowed Bradley to hand off a tackler and run around and under the posts for a try converted by Smith, who produced a surging run of his own to touch down by the posts for a third try in the space of five minutes.
Smith missed the conversion, but Park kept the scoreboard ticking over as second row Bamidele Coker ran through the heart of the home defence and the ball was moved wide for Robertson to touch down in the corner.
Bradley then swapped passes with Smith in midfield before sprinting in from the 22 for his second try and Park’s seventh, which Parr converted with the last kick of the first half to give Park a 42-7 lead.
It was better than the visitors could have dreamed of, but Campion were set to play down the hill in the second half and enjoyed some phases in Romford’s 22 after a jinking run from George Hobbrough.
The home side, forced to call up several second-team players and cancel their fixture, could not find a way through Park’s dogged defence, though, and Bradley broke out to send flanker Dwayne Lyn over for a conveted try.
Park brought up their half-century when Parr took a quick tap penalty in midfield and scampered clear of a disheartened Campion defence and a 10th try followed almost immediately as the visitors claimed the restart, Matt Catchpole made ground and Bradley went in at the left corner for his hat-trick, which Parr converted from the touchline.
The hard-running Smith plunged over for the next score, before Coker went in at the left corner and then under the posts following a strong run from substitute Charley Wilkinson.
Parr added both conversions, from out wide again and then right in front of the posts, but there was still one more try to come and Smith completed his treble with an outstretched arm, then drop-kicked the conversion with the last kick of the match.
Victory allowed Park to pull to within three points of ninth-placed South Woodham Ferrers, who were beaten at home by Saffron Walden, but defeat leaves Campion a dozen points behind their neighbours.
Campion: Richard Jones, Lee Fitzmaurice, Ian Liddle, Denis Gleeson, Charles Baker, Kevin O’Reilly, Patrick Romayne, George Rogers, Bill Mullan, Tom Ronayne, George Hobbrough, Chris Smith, Ollie Lee, Michael Underwood, Matt Meehan. Replacements: Joe Baldwinn, Patrick Osadere, Ben Pitkin.
Romford: Daniel Maling, Micky James, Jeff Wood, Bamidele Coker, Matt Catchpole, Pete O’Brien, Dwayne Lyn, Paul Bradley, Reece Parr, Mitchell Smith, Sam Coomber, Jamie Jones, George Robertson, Tony Caroll, Jake Jones. Replacements: Karl Prestoe, Charley Wilkinson, Ben Brewer.