Old Haberdashers 26 Hemel Camelot 14
CAMELOT finished their season with a battling 12-point loss away to league-leaders Old Haberdashers.
Despite the loss, Camelot can be proud of their performance, and the Hemel side end the campaign in fourth place in the league table.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Camelot to take something from Haberdashers – who have only lost one game all season – and the hosts took the lead with a penalty after just four minutes.
In a largely uneventful first half, Haberdashers doubled their lead with another penalty, but there was little try-line action of note as the sides went in at the interval.
Camelot looked to get off to a quick start at the beginning of the second period, but the Hemel side were forced into a reshuffle of the back line as outside centre Daniel OBrien left the field with an ankle injury.
And Haberdashers took advantage soon afterwards as they scored the first try of the game, which was converted to give the hosts a 13-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, however, Camelot were right back in the game as their hard work across the field was finally rewarded with a try.
After good work from the Camelot forwards, the ball was spun out to Nick Merritt on the wing, and he darted across the line to score in the corner.
Scrum-half Gavin Jakeman added the conversion from a difficult angle to cut the deficit to 13-7 with 22 minutes left to play.
That merely seemed to increase the home side’s attacking intent, however, and they soon extended the lead to 19-7 with a couple of penalties.
With two minutes remaining, the hosts added a try to their tally, but to their credit, Camelot continued to press and bagged a second try of their own with seconds left to play.
Fly-half Richard Woodard received the ball from a ruck and sold a perfect dummy to break through and score a try which Jakeman converted to make the final score 26-14.
Elsewhere, the Camelot second team picked up an excellent 44-0 win over Hackney in their Herts Merit Cup semi-final.
They will now battle it out with Stevenage in the final of the competition this weekend.
The Camelot third XV also won their Herts Merit Plate semi-final, beating Barnet Elizabethans 26-17 to set up a final showdown with Hertford.