Camelot retained second spot in the London 3 North West League after a hard fought 12-0 win over Stevenage Town.
The visitors to Chaulden Lane on Saturday came with a record of seven wins, one draw and just the one loss – to the league leaders, Hackney.
The opening exchanges were fairly even with Stevenage’s large pack prepared to take it to Camelot but the home side’s 8 more than held their own. The contrast was between the two sets of backs; Camelot had the better handling skills and were prepared to use them in contrast to Stevenage who more that often kicked for field position.
The home side were able to soak up the pressure from Stevenage. It was Camelot, playing in front of a sizeable home crowd, who showed more inventiveness in their back line that proved the difference. With half time approaching Camelot worked their way to within 10 metres of the visitors’ line and, through a succession of rucks, scored a try near the touchline through second row Gary Jahn. The difficult conversion kick attempt from full back, David St George McKenzie, went just wide.
From the restart Stevenage mounted their first penetrative attack. getting to within a few metres of the Camelot line.
When Camelot were caught offside at a ruck flanker, Will Temperley, was sent to the bin for 10 minutes. Stevenage, instead of going for the penalty kick, opted to kick to touch and attempt a catch and drive from the subsequent lineout. This was more than well defended by the Camelot pack whose pressure forced a Stevenage handling error enabling Camelot to clear the danger down field.
At the break the Camelot coach, Jason Lowde, brought on fresh legs in both the pack and backs and these changes added new momentum to the home side who added a second try after nine minutes. This came from a training field move which saw the ball moved alone the backline and using their big centre, Ryan Doyle, who took the crash ball to break through the Stevenage central defence. This took out two defenders and as Doyle was tackled by the next defender, he was able to slip a pass to support player Jack Field who finished off a cracking try near the posts. With St George McKenzie adding the conversion Camelot extended their lead to 12-0.
This was always going to be a difficult game especially with Camelot’s mounting injury list. For the fifth game in a row Camelot had to field a different 10 following an injury to Sam Clark last week. His replacement Ben Kavenagh, proved the club has an emerging pool of talent.
They visit leaders Hackney on Saturday.
Tries (2) Gary Jahn (1) Jack Field (1) Conversions (1) David St George McKenzie (1) Penalties (0)
HEMEL HEMSTEAD (CAMELOT) RUFC:
Team 1 Matt Kears, 2 Nino Massa, 3 Jamie McCutchen, 4 Jack Field, 5 Gary Jahn, 6 Will Temperley, 7 Gareth Carder, 8 Hadyn Morgan, 9 Tom Aitken, 10 Ben Kavenagh, 11 Danny Howard, 12 Sean Johnson, 13 Ryan Doyle, 14 Charlie Bose, 15 David St George McKenzie. Subs: 16 Joe Cox, 17 Aled Gamble, 18 Rio Dunkley.