Another grueling morning of rugby saw a number of players take knocks, but just like the Chumbawamba song, they got back up again (‘cos Barnet were never going to keep them down).
A strong Barnet set-up brought 15 players along to Chaulden Lane, making up two teams to play four 6-minute each way matches against the mixed Camelot sides; this meant one of the fixtures had to be a 7-a-side affair, but what they lacked in numbers, they certainly made up for in physicality.
For Tom & Simon’s Sizzlers, the opening game was more of a fizzle than a sizzle as it looked like too many late nights had taken their toll. A breakaway from the scrum saw Barnet score the opening try, and minutes later the lead was doubled when pressure on a weary look Camelot paid dividends. It was starting to look as though they might take a tonking, before James picked up a scissor pass and broke through to make it 1-2 just before the interval. At half-time the referee, the Barnet coach, asked the touchline the score; some visiting parents tried to claim it was 3-1, they were soon put right…but seconds after the restart it was 3-1, the Barnet try scorer once again seeming to stroll through unchallenged. A ball lost in a maul led to a 4th try for the visitors, before James once again stole the limelight with another darting run through to score. The Sizzlers tried to turn up the heat, Freddie was regularly thwarted in his runs, often around the neck, and Ben was stopped on one of his runs by what looked like at least six or seven Barnet players in the tackle! The Sizzle fizzled though, and Barnet scored the final try of the match to wrap up a convincing 5-2 win.
Full-Time Camelot Y 2-5 Barnet Stags. James 2
A chat from the Coaches before the next match did the trick as the defence tightened up with Daisy diving into everything, Eddie looking to block anyone and everyone, no matter what size and Freddie flinging himself around like a salmon heading up stream; meanwhile Conor was constantly on the look out for an interception, Sam was going on driving runs, pushing the visitors back and James and Charlie’s pace looked a constant threat…and it was Ben who scored the opening try, using his frustration of once again seeing 3 or 4 defenders in the tackle, to give him the extra strength and determination to get over the line and score. 1-0 to Camelot. The second-half started disappointingly, Barnet equalising with a clear run through, but they were not level for long. Freddie got the ball, twisting and turning like a twisty turny thing, all the way through the entire Barnet defence to restore the lead. With no more tries in the game, the Sizzlers held on to win the match.
Full-time Camelot Y 2-1 Barnet Harts. Ben & Freddie
Game 3 was a chance to regain some pride against the side that beat them 5-2 in the opening game, and they certainly did that with a much more battling performance in the toughest match of the day, in which just about every player went down with a knock or injury at some point during the 12-minute match. Barnet took the lead, but Conor stepped up to bundle the ball over for an equaliser. However, Barnet took the lead again, despite the try scorer seeming to just drop the ball when he got over the line rather than touch it down. And it was Conor on standby again to dive onto the ball for a try when it was starting to look a bit scrappy near the try line. 2-2. Barnet took the lead once more just before the interval, but heads refused to drop, despite the feeling of injustice on some of the decisions, and Camelot equalised for the third time in the game when James managed to get the ball down after a period of dominant possession. Unfortunately the game was lost late on when the ball was ripped in the Hemel defence, gifting the visitors the lead…and with no time left to equalise for the fourth time, the match was lost 3-4, a considerably improved performance on the defeat in Game 1.
Full-time Camelot Y 3-4 Barnet Harts. Conor 2 & James
By Game 4 the Sizzlers had turned up the heat and were cooking on full gas. Eddie, Sam, James and Daisy were dominating the midfield play, and there were attacking threats from both wings. Freddie opened the scoring when he dived over the line, and moments later Charlie got rewarded when one of his mazy runs down the wing saw him dance pass the tackles and place the ball down for 2-0. Charlie was on hand to score again when a gritty run from Ben ended ten yards from the try line, but the pass found Charlie who comfortably scored his second of the game. After the break the rampant Sizzlers continued to dominate, but scored just one more try, Conor finding space out wide to score with ease. Final score: 4-0.
Full-time Camelot Y 4-0 Barnet Stags. Freddie, Charlie 2 & Conor
After a slow start the Sizzlers dished up a fine rugby treat, winning two and losing two of their matches…Scoring 11 tries and conceding 10, so you could easily argue that they won the fixture on try difference.
Man of the Match for the day went to Sam for his solid play, strong runs and determination to hang on to the ball when surrounded by opposing players looking to rip it from him.
Team X v Barnet: Jack, Tommy, Edward, Ollie, Joe, Conor, Caolan, Byron.
Game 1 was a hard tackling midfield battle which led to few chances. The referee not having to move as both teams camped on the half way line. HT 0-0. Hemel pressure finally paid off, a tackle from Caolan and a quick pick up of the loose ball led to the first try, it was that quick that our dancing dad on the sideline missed it !! Barnet pressure, Hemel defended strongly, no way through here !! Edward breaks and runs ¾ length of field to score. Further great defending from Joe, Byron and Caolan sees the game out.
Full-time Camelot X 2-0 Barnet Harts. Caolan & Edward
Game 2, 7 a side, are we being too sporting ?? Barnet bigger and more physical than 1st game. Barnet first half pressure but again great defence from Camelot. Late first half rally but no clear chances. Some good scrum halfing by Byron and tackling, backed up by some good moves from Joe, HT 0-0. Second half saw Ollie go on a great run (fuelled by more bourbon biscuits) and dive into the corner but foot had just brushed the line. No try !!! Wrong type of white line fever !! Attritional battle with few chances either side. Hobbsie brought a new meaning to pulling your socks up, when in the middle of a ruck, Connor downed tools to pull his socks up, in mid play ! Finally, the defence was breached and Barnet broke through to score. We must take our chances !!
Full-time Camelot X 0-1 Barnet Stags
Game 3, 7 a side again (Barnet player injured from previous game) Another tight midfield battle in first half, but three Tommy dummies set up 3 break through tries from half way, first for Caolan, then Edward, then Thomas breaking through himself and going all the way. HT 3-0. Best try of the day in the second half – great passing move from inside own half is halted on the line only for Edward to power over on the next phase. Dancing dad doing a merry jig, happy days.
Full –time Camelot X 4-0 Barnet Harts. Caolan, Edward 2 & Tommy
The final game caught Camelot X dozing as a Barnet player stormed through unchallenged in the very first play, wakey, wakey fellas. Following a scrum near our own line Edward ran nearly the whole length of the field before releasing Tommy to score under the posts, Zig and Zag at it again !! A great run from Ollie unfortunately brought more white line fever, wrong line fella !! Another great run from Zag, saw him stopped just short, but like Chumbawamba, he got up again, regained the ball in the next phase to power over (2-1). Another great run by Edward (Zig) popped it off to Tommy (Zag) to score again. The hours of pop passing finally paying off !!! Barnet rallied but great defence from Camelot held them off, until Barnet forced the ball over in the corner (he dropped it ref !!) to set up grandstand finish (3-2). Camelot dusted themselves down and zigged and zagged down the pitch, they continued to press on and pressure paid off as Edward (Zig) went over to seal win. Dancing dad very pleased up and down the touchline.
Full-time Camelot X 4-2 Barnet Stags Thomas 3 & Edward
MOM: Jack, good strong running Jacko, no one is ripping the ball of you, well done.
Another great morning of rugby fellas, awesome commitment and enjoyment, smiles all round, well done.