Hemel Camelot 14 St Albans 24
HEMEL Camelot suffered a disappointing loss in their Herts Presidents Cup quarter-final clash with St Albans on Saturday.
The Hemel side were forced into a number of changes in personnel as captain Darren Perry plus last week’s stand-in captain Richard Woodard were out injured, along withforwards George Adams and Charlie Richards and backs Ross Willoughby and Alex Wilby.
Scrum-half Tom Aitken stepped in to lead the side as captain.
It was St Albans who opened the scoring as they broke through to bag a converted try which gave them a seven-point lead after just five minutes.
Camelot launched a strong attack from the restart which took them into the opposition 22 for a line-out. That led to a penalty kick which went just wide of the posts.
And the hosts soon found themselves back on level terms.
A foray into the opposition 22 led to a penalty and then a five metre scrum.
The ball came down the line to outside centre Ryan Doyle who charged at the defence and broke through tackles to score an excellent try which inside centre Daniel OBrien converted with aplomb.
However, the home side suffered a setback shortly after the restart when the referee issued hooker Nino Massa with a yellow card and sent him to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.
That forced the hosts into a tactical reshuffle as they looked to combat the one-man deficit.
Regardless, Camelot continued to pile on the pressure in the opposition 22 near the line to win a scrum.
The ball was quickly recycled from a ruck out to number eight Hadyn Morgan who crashed across the line for a try which OBrien once again converted to give his side the lead at 14-7.
That was the end of the scoring for the first half, and Camelot went into the break with the healthy advantage.
It was St Albans who struck first after the interval, though, as they levelled the scores with a converted try of their own.
The visitors then worked their way back into the Hemel 22 for a line-out and launched an attack which led to their third converted try of the match and gave them a 21-14 lead.
Camelot looked for a response as the game reached its conclusion, but a late St Albans penalty wrapped up the win for the visitors.
It was a disappointing result for Camelot, although they can take heart from the first half display in the absence of some key players.
They will no doubt be looking for a good response when they travel to Grasshoppers this weekend for a league match.
Camelot seconds, meanwhile, enjoyed another massive victory as they won 107-0 in their home clash with Bishops Stortford.
Elsewhere, the Camelot fourth XI also won well as they beat Hitchin 22-15.