Camelot snatched a 25-23 victory with the last kick of the game at Datchworth on Saturday
They were taking on a side lying fourth in the London 3 North West league that had beaten third placed Stevenage in their last match.
With injuries and work commitments continuing to limit selection; Camelot fielded their third standoff in as many games and a different centre combination for the 5th match. However, the pack remained largely unchanged which proved to be the difference as the game progressed.
With the home side playing with a slight wind at their backs, they started the brighter pinning Camelot in their own 22. With the pressure mounting Datchworth knocked on and Camelot 2nd Row Jack Field pounced on the loose ball and scampered 70 meters untouched, to score under the posts to give Camelot an unexpected lead (0-5).
From the restart the home side again took the game to Camelot and forced them, after 15 minutes to go offside at a ruck. The penalty kick was duly slotted by their standoff. With Camelot repeating the same offense on further occasions the referee, having given a warning, sent Sam Clarkto the bin for 10 minutes and Datchworth’s 10 duly added another Penalty to take his team into a slender lead after 22 minutes.
With Camelot down to 14 men the home side took advantage to score their first converted try after 34 minutes to extend their lead to 13-5.
With Camelot back up to full strength with the return of Clark, they managed to put together their first inter-passing move which was finished off by winger Charlie Bose crossing the line under the posts and giving Nick Merritt an opportunity to redeem himself with a perfectly struck conversion to get Camelot back to within a point at half-time.
During the first half the Camelot pack had performed well in their set pieces winning all their line outs and set scrums. In the second period they got the upper hand on a Datchworth pack that were now visibly tiring, taking all but one of Datchworth’s scrums! That edge, in the end. gave Camelot the hope of winning this game.
Ten minutes into the second half Charlie Bose out-flanked the opposition to score his second try to take Camelot back into the lead that they had relinquished midway through the 1st half. The home side had an opportunity to cut that lead soon after but their 10 squandered a penalty kick chance.
However, Datchworth did add a converted try 25 minutes in to regain the initiative to lead 20-17.
With two minutes of normal time remaining it was Jack Field’s turn to add his second try of the afternoon and Camelot were leading again 20-22.
However, it was not over yet as Datchworth returned to the Camelot 22 immediately and set up a drop goal from their 10 to retake the lead 23-22 with the final whistle looming.
With Camelot looking down the barrel of defeat for the second game in a row, it was all or nothing now.
From the restart Camelot moved to within metres of the Datchworth line forcing them to infringe at a ruck and give Camelot their last opportunity. With a cool head and a silent home crowd full back David St George McKenzie stepped up and kicked the winning penalty and the visiting crowd roared with delight and some relief.
With leaders Hackney winning against Stevenage, Camelot remain three points behind in second. They host Stevenage on Saturday.
Tries(4) Jack Field (2), Charlie Bose (2). Conversions (1) Nick Merrett (1). Penalties (1) David St George McKenzie.
Team 1 Matt Kears 2 Nino Massa 3 Jamie McCutchen 4 Jack Field 5 Joe Cox 6 Gary Jahn 7 Gareth Carder 8 Hadyn Morgan 9 Tom Aitken 10 Sam Clark 11 Charlie Bose 12 Sean Johnson 13 Ryan Doyle 14 Nick Merrett 15 David St George McKenzie. Subs 16 Rio Dunkley 17 Daniel Howard 18 Liam Meddeman.