Camelot secured promotion in spectacular fashion with a whopping ten-try 70-30 win when hosting Datchworth on Saturday.
With London 3 North West leaders Hackney beating third-placed Stevenage, the Hemel-based Camelot cannot now be caught in second place with only three games remaining and will be promoted to London North West 2 next season.
With Saturday’s visitors Datchworth coming off a three-match loosing run, Camelot perhaps thought they were in for an easy afternoon.
After only 35 seconds, it looked like that would be the case when Camelot scored straight from the kick-off when centre Ryan Doyle strolled through a nonexistent Datchworth defence to score. Fullback David St George McKenzie added the first of what would be a stupendous ten conversions to give Camelot a seven-point lead in under a minute.
But what happened in the next 39 minutes had the crowd scratching their heads and Camelot coach Jason Lowde pulling out what remains of his hair.
The visitors immediately hit back with a penalty kick and a converted try to take the lead as the hosts seemed to go to sleep.
Camelot’s second-rower Jack Field got his team back into the game with a try which came from an audacious break by Jamie Hearn on his own ten-meter line and saw him link with Field 40 meters out from the try line. Field, all arms and legs, put on the after burners and saw-off four tacklers to race in under the posts. St George McKenzie added the extras for Camelot to regain the lead at 14-10.
Again Camelot’s normally solid defence was outflanked and Datchworth soon had their second try which was duly converted and Camelot were behind again 14-17.
The home side found some consistency and ran in two tries in quick succession from Gary Jahn and St George McKenzie. With both conversions going over from St George McKenzie, Camelot had an 11-point lead and looked set for a comfortable bonus point win.
But with eight minutes remaining in the half, Datchworth showed they still had something left and added their third converted try and a penalty to be just one point behind at 28-27.
And as the half ended, Camelot’s skipper was given a yellow card for what appeared to be a some back-chat to the referee.
Whatever Lowde said at half-time had a galvanising effect. After Datchworth converted another penalty early on to take the lead, it became one-way traffic for the hosts as they dominated for the remainder of the game.
The various Camelot replacements worked well and together with the side’s superior fitness they scored six unanswered converted tries.
Sub Ross Merrett grabbed a brace, Jahn got his second, Gamble chased, what appeared to be a lost cause, to score, sub Haydn Morgan, returning from an injury, scored Camelot’s eight and back-rower Gary Calder linked up on the wing to score. That was 42 unanswered points and gave Camelot an overwhelming 70-30 win.
With eight players getting their names on the score sheet, it was hard to single out one player but St George McKenzie deserved praise for his impeccable kicking display.
Having also scored one of the ten tries, he slotted all of his conversions which took his season’s tally to past the 150 -point threshold.
It was probably one of the most consistent kicking displays seen at Chaulden Lane in many years.
Camelot next visit third-placed Stevenage on Saturday, March 25, which is followed by a home fixture on April 1 against leaders Hackney.
Camelot: Matt Kears, Nino Massa, Jamie McCutchen, Sean Meddeman, Jack Field, Gary Jahn, Will Temperley, Gareth Carder, Tom Aitken, Daniel O’Brien, Aled Gamble, Jamie Hearn, Ryan Doyle, Sean Johnson, David St George McKenzie. Subs: Joe Cox, Hadyn Morgan, Ross Merritt.
Tries: Doyle, Field, Jahn (2), St George McKenzie, Merritt (2), Gamble, Morgan and Calder.
Conversions: St George McKenzie (10).