The Hemel Hempstead Camelot second XV got their season off to an excellent start as they fought back to defeat UCS Old Boys 17-5.
A combination of a new team playing together for the first time and nerves led to a very defensive first half from the Camelot side – known as the Knights – with UCS Old Boys crossing the line for a very controversial try.
Although evenly matched in the scrums, UCS were getting to the breakdowns first and the Camelot forward line were unable to get to the breakdown in numbers quickly enough to clear out – leaving the home side’s back line devoid of ball.
However, from the kick-off in the second half; after a half-time shuffle of players, stability was restored and Camelot dominated all areas of the pitch.
Some ferocious tackles from Arron Higgs, Gareth Swindells, Oli Toms, Matt Farr and Charles Riches took the momentum out of UCS back line.
A scrum right in front of UCS’ posts created a well worked try, with the forwards and backs combining for man-of-the-match, Jack Shield, to claim a debut try for the Knights. This was converted by Toms to give Camelot the lead at 7-5.
The second try saw the ball passed through the hands of almost every Camelot player on the way to USC’s try line, with Chaz Baker producing a sublime behind the back pass to set up Toms to finish.
Another fine backs move saw substitute Aaron Higgs bounce several UCS players before releasing Christian Cooves for another fine try.
With an exhausted UCS pinned inside their own 22 for much of the second half, the Camelot Knights eventually prevailed 17-5
The Knights have got their league season off to a great start and now look forward to entertaining Biggleswade at home on Saturday.
Special mention goes to Gordon Clarke, Baker, Swindells, Toms, Ollie Martin, Christian Cooves and Aaron Higgs whose dogged determination, massive hits and positivity was a joy to behold.