Jack Field grabbed a brace of second half tries to give Camelot a 20-6 win at St Albans on Saturday.
Camelot made the short away journey in London 3 North West to take on a side that, in the home fixtur earlier in the season, they had beaten by over 50 points.
How things have changed in a short space of time with Camelot fielding eight different players out of a squad of 18.
Playing under floodlights and in foggy conditions the home side had much the better start pushing Camelot back into their 22 for the first quarter.
One of Camelot’s strengths this season is their tight defence which was sorely tested in this period.
That defence, and St Albans’ urgency to score, cost the home side in the 20th minute when they were offside at a ruck when in touching distance from Camelot’s line. The ensuing penalty kick to touch gave Camelot some respite.
However, St Albans soon returned to the attack and five minutes later forced a penalty when Camelot were adjudged to have turned a scrum.
Their kicker duly put the ball between the uprights and St Albans took the lead which reflected the balance of play.
Camelot’s only real foray into the home side’s territory was when second row, Jack Field, gathered a loose ball on the half way line and charged off only to be hauled down five metres short of the line.
St Albans added a further penalty in the 37th minute (6-0) when Fly half Ben Kavanagh was Yellow carded for a high tackle. Camelot were soon down to 13 men when Flanker Gareth Carder was also given a yellow for being offside at a ruck. A repeated offence, which the Referee had warned the side about.
This situation did not deter Camelot who in the closing minutes of the half won a penalty when it was St Albans turn to be penalised for being off side at a ruck. Full back, David St George McKenzie, put the kick over to cut the lead to 6-3 at half time.
Camelot, starting the second period still with 13 men, began to show some form which had been lacking in the 1st half.
Putting pressure on the home side, they forced a penalty in a kickable position which St George McKenzie duly converted to level the score.
With Camelot back up to full strength, through Kavanagh and Carder returning from their 10 minutes in the bin, they started to string things together only to be brought up short when Kavanagh picked up a second yellow card in the 17th minute and left the field permanently.
Undeterred by this Camelot raised their game yet again, putting pressure on St Albans and forcing a number of kickable penalties which St George McKenzie just failed to convert.
It took until the 29th minute for the star of the show to emerge.
From a full 40 metres out second rower, Jack Field, gathered the ball and showed a clean pair of heels to a floundering defence to touchdown under the posts. St George McKenzie added the conversion to take the score to 13-6.
In the 38th minute, Field, know at Camelot as ‘the Dragon’ took flight again. On the St Albans 10 metre line Camelot forced the home side to loose control of a ruck.
With the ball squirted out to the side and the ever lively Joe Cox to pick up, make a few metres and off load to Field who repeated his earlier sprint to the line, touching down behind the posts to give St George McKenzie the easiest of conversions and take Camelot to victory.
It should be noted that for a second row player to be the second highest try scorer this season is no mean feat. Long may it last.
Hemel end the year in second place, 10 points behind Hackney.
With the Christmas break now upon us, there may be time for some of the injured players to get back to full fitness.
The next game is at Chaulden Lane on January 7 against Hitchin at 3pm so will be under floodlights.
Tries Jack Field (2), Conversions David St George McKenzie (2) Penalties David St George McKenzie (2)
Team: 1 Matt Kears, 2 Daniel Thompson, 3 Jamie McCutchen, 4 Jack Field, 5 Joe Cox, 6 Gareth Carder, 7 Nino Massa, 8 Gary Jahn, 9 Tom Aitken, 10 Ben Kavenagh, 11 Aled Gamble, 12 Sean Johnson, 13 Ryan Doyle, 14 Danny Howard, 15 David St George McKenzie. Subs 16 Nick Merrett, 17 Rajesh Jandu, 18 Rio Dunkley.