A thrilling finale to their first season of competitive rugby saw Hemel Hempstead Camelot U13s edge out Chess Valley to win the Herts Rugby County Youth Plate – their second piece of silverware of the season.
Having navigated their way through the knockout rounds, Camelot came into finals day at Hertford Rugby Club as probable favourites due them being the highest placed team in their section of the competition.
Chess Valley proved that league positions counted for nothing, though, and a typically slow start from Camelot combined with a commanding forwards display from their opponents left Camelot on the back foot for much of the first half.
However a forwards breakaway try meant Camelot headed into half-time with an unlikely 5-0 lead.
Chess Valley were able to respond early in the second half with a try of their own and the game was locked at 5-5 for much of the half.
However, the deadlock, as well as the resolve of the opposition, was finally broken when an extra gear was found and Camelot were able to run in two further converted tries to secure a 19-5 victory.
Sunday’s win followed on from Camelot’s triumph in the league. In February, the side secured their inaugural season Division Three league title, having taken six victories from six against opposition from across the Herts and Middlesex region.
Elsewhere, the Camelot U11s attended the Tring Festival at the weekend to participate in a six-team round robin competition.
After hard fought defeats against strong OA’s and Harpenden sides, Camelot upped their performance superbly as the day progressed – going on to win their next three matches against Hertford, Wendens and Tring to secure a third placed finish.
Reflecting on the long day, coach Les Long said: “The rugby we produced in our final three games against good quality opposition teams was some of the best we have played all season. Our passing, movement and commitment were outstanding and ultimately too much for the opposition.
“Finishing third overall in a good quality group after the start we made is not a bad result. Playing the way we did to finish the day on a high was outstanding.”
This Sunday sees Camelot U15 play Cheshunt in the Herts County Plate final. Kick-off is 10am at Hertford RFC.