A last-minute friendly arranged gave the newly gelled Colts another opportunity to put their skills to the test, this time on the artificial surface at Aylesbury.
Indeed, the late fixture arrangement left your roving match reporter with an early morning dash to get back from a night out that involved missing the opening ten minutes of the game, arriving just in time to see Kieran running the ball into the corner as I turned the ignition off of my car.
As I crossed the car park I could make out Dan Jones knocking the conversion over the posts, and by the time I took up my position in the stand it was confirmed to me that this was the first score of the game, and if anything, against the run of the play. 7-0.
I can only assume that I was bringing Camelot good luck as before I could say “I wish I had brought a bottle of water with me…” a good team move had finished with Andrew powering his way over the line to make the score 12-0. Dan Jones hit another sweet conversion to add the extra two points.
Camelot continued to pile on the pressure and came close to scoring again but were denied by a last-ditch turnover. However, the long defensive clearance went straight to Rocket Norman (or more that should say James Norman had positioned himself perfectly for the clearance) who went on a mazy run before passing out to Woody on the wing who made no mistake in scoring.
With Dan Jones off the pitch having his back seductively massaged by the Aylesbury physio, it was Dan Hoyes who narrowly missed the tough conversion. 19-0.
The score was not a fair reflection on the part Aylesbury were playing in this bruising encounter, but it was the boys in blue who kept piling on the points. A well-worked lineout led to a powerful driving maul that gained vital yards before Freddie popped up from the back to break the line and score. Dan Hoyes pinged the ball between the posts for the conversion to make it 26-0 at the interval.
It was a physical match-up between two very strong sides and the injuries were taking their toll on both squads. The second half kicked-off with 14 players on each team whilst the wounded received treatment, and this was reduced to 13 v 13 by the time a superior Aylesbury front row forced a couple of penalties before driving over the line to score the first try against Camelot Colts this season. A well-taken conversion reduced the arrears to 26-7.
There may have been less players on the pitch, but there was no let-up in physicality and at one point the injury count took us down to 12 v 12 as the side-lines began to resemble a scene from Saving Private Ryan!
With the clock ticking away there was still time for Camelot to add a couple more tries to the scoresheet. The first came after the ball was held up on the line for the first attempt, but the goal line kick out, following the new rules introduced this season, went straight to Sam on the edge of the twenty-two who had plenty of time to run the ball home relatively unchallenged. Dan converts, 33-7.
The final try of the game came from Marcus Smith, I mean Dan Hoyes, whose field kicking had been immaculate throughout the morning, when he cheekily placed a kick through towards the corner, chased it down himself and made no mistake in gathering and scoring comfortably.
The conversion was missed, but it had been another very impressive performance by a team that had only played together a few times this year and had missed out on most of last season through covid – It is exciting to think what they might be able to achieve as this season evolves..
FT: Aylesbury 7-38 Camelot
Tries: Kieran, Andrew, Woody, Freddie, Sam, Dan
Cons: Dan Jones 2, Dan Hoyes 2