On a bright blustery morning Camelot Under 11's hosted a tri-fixture with two sides from Aylesbury and a Letchworth team in a series of 10-minute each way matches.
For Camelot B it was a tough morning as players had to take extra responsibilities to support their team mates, showing strong character to bounce back from knock backs. Over the course of the morning they got stronger and showed more of their skills in defence and attack, but ultimately were punished for mistakes which often made the scoreline look much harsher than they actually were.
The first match was against Aylesbury B and Camelot started by far the stronger, dominating play for the opening 5 minutes, just unable to find the extra drive, or killer pass, to convert the domination into a score. And then, out of nowhere, the visitors break clean through with the ball, avoiding the first tackle, and left with a clean run to score (a description that could be used for all but one of the tries conceded during the day!).
Straight from the restart Camelot kicked off, the Aylesbury receiver took the ball cleanly and run straight through to double the lead. Somehow, after such a lively start, Camelot were 2-0 down at the break.
The second-half started badly with three more tries quickly conceded, including one where it looked as though Camelot were going to score with the ball on the Aylesbury try line and Camelot battling to ground the ball, it fell loose and the Aylesbury fella literally ran the length of the pitch to make it 5-0.
The scoreline seemed totally unjust, not reflecting the hard tackling from Jake and the constant harassing and turning over of the ball from Byron. The difference being that Camelot errors were punished, whereas Aylesbury would recover from their mistakes unharmed. Just as it looked as though heads may drop and morale take a beating, the game started to turn.
Jack set off on a blistering run, destroying everything that got in his way, eventually stopped before the try line, he played the ball out, the ball worked its way back to Jack who placed the ball for Camelot's first score of the game. The unlikely comeback looked on when Charlie broke wide to pull the score back to 2-5. But with not long left on the clock, Aylesbury broke clean through again to make it 6-2 with the last play of the game.
FT Camelot B 2-6 Aylesbury B
Tries: Jack, Charlie
The Letchworth match started off as a close affair, but when a good move saw the visitors break clean through to score, there was a sense of inevitability about the outcome. Camelot enjoying possession, but too often losing the ball cheaply. It remained 0-1 until half-time, and with the advantage of playing downhill for the second-half, they left themselves every chance of getting back into the game.
However, early after the restart, Letchworth doubled the lead...Yes, the opposition player breaking clean through to score. Again, heads did not drop. Ben received the ball deep in the opponents half, ducked his head and headed for the line to score with Letchworth defenders hanging off his back.
With a sense of inevitability, a clean breakthrough saw Letchworth double the deficit and look to put the game beyond doubt...but Team B were having none of it. Some great team play saw Eddie driven over the line to pull it back to 2-3 and then in the dying seconds it was Camelot's turn to break clean through, Charlie breaking wide to score his second of the day and earn a well-deserved draw.
FT Camelot B 3-3 Letchworth
Tries: Ben, Eddie, Charlie
The final game was against Aylesbury B again. General consensus was that 6-2 was not a fair reflection of the first match and expectations were of a much closer scoreline this time out, particularly with a couple of players from Team A on the sidelines available for additional support if needed.
The best passing move of the day saw the ball moved along the line in an attacking move, that found Charlie with the space to score and give Camelot the lead. However, yet another clean break through saw Aylesbury level and when possession was lost with a loose ball the visitors picked up to break through and score. Aylesbury then made it 3-1 - Probably the only try of the day that could not be described as "the opponent broke clean through"...This time there were defenders on the try scorer, but he was the biggest lad on the pitch and had no problems driving himself over the line to score.
After the break another clear run to the line made it 1-4 before some fine attacking play enabled Alfie to create space for himself to get Camelot back into the game.
Not for the first time today, the opponents received the kick from the restart and set off on a run straight down the other end to score unchallenged, and then the final clean break through of the day saw the final try of the day to finish the match 2-6. Exactly the same score as in the first match, and yet again it can justifiably be argued that the score did not reflect the difference between the two sides. Small mistakes were punished heavily, too often the ball was spilt when there was a chance to ease the pressure (plenty of scrum practice), plays turned over with support too slow to come in and tackles coming in from the side rather than in front of the man...such small differences that made a big difference on the scoresheet.
FT: Camelot B 2-6 Aylesbury B
Tries: Charlie, Alfie
Iron out the small differences, TACKLE and the players representing Team B will find themselves winning more games than they lose. A number of players really stepped up their game in adversity, with player of the week going to Byron for being a constant nuisance to the opposition, some excellent ripping from opponents and good use of the ball when in possession.
Our first competitive match of the year is a A and B team home tri-fixture against Letchworth and Aylesbury. In chilly conditions the A team, captained by birthday boy Caolan, start the morning against Letchworth A and appropriately it's Caolan that opens the scoring to give Camelot and early lead. We're playing downhill in the first half and tacking and mauling well with the opposition struggling to get out of their own half. Our ball handing is also good and after a well worked move from the scrum, involving James N, Tommy and Fred, we think we've doubled our lead but the score is disallowed for a forward pass. We keep the pressure on and this time Fred does make it 2-0 with a great opportunist try. The half time whistles goes and it's 2-0 to Camelot A and still Letchworth haven't really been in our half. We're uphill in the 2nd half and Letchworth start a mini-fight back - they score early to put a bit of pressure on our boys. Our lads are made of stern stuff and they defend well nullifying all that the opposition can throw at them. In fact Tommy scores a third to win the game 3-1 for Camelot A. A great team effort.
Final score 3-1
In game two we take on Aylesbury A. This turns out to be a much tougher encounter. Again we're competing and defending really well. A scrum in our favour gives us the opportunity we've been waiting for and although the scissor movement breaks down, we win the ball back and James N gets the ball over the line to give us a deserved and vital lead as we again play downhill in the first half.
With the last play of the half however Aylesbury get the ball over the line to level at half time. We start the second half well with flowing passing in both directions although it's the opposition that take a rather controversial 2-1 lead. We fight back though and with just a couple if minutes to go Caolan scores to finish a well worked move down the left. The tackling and commitment from the boys is fantastic - non more so than Tommy who picks up what looked at the time like a nasty ankle injury which signalled the end of a very competitive 2-2 draw.
Camelot A 2 - Aylesbury A 2
James N 1
A fantastic effort from everyone in the team with James N winning Player of the Week. Well done to all.