Welcoming back several key players, a very strong Hemel Hempstead Camelot second XV travelled to HMP The Mount to play a well drilled team of prison officers and inmates.
Camelot elected to kick off and pressured the forwards, turned over the ball and quick hands nearly saw an instant try in the corner but for some excellent defence from the opposition putting the wing out for a lineout.
The Camelot second row did well, putting pressure on the opposition lineout and forcing them to spill the ball to allow an alert George Nash to gather and pounce over the line for the first try.
As The Mount kept losing balls over the 30ft barbed wire fence, the points for the conversion were awarded with no kick needed.
Following the restart, Camelot held off the extremely heavy Mount pack and again through some big tackles and excellent pressure scored a second try from the indomitable Jack Field which was then converted.
Camelot were once again forced to endure wave after wave of strong runs but repelled each attack with skill and power.
The slippery conditions meant there was scrum after scrum; the Knights pack was ferocious all day and lost none of their own scrums and evening stole several from The Mount.
Camelot’s prowess in attack was the difference between the two sides, with both Tom Batson and Stuart Watts controlling the game.
The platform for them to shine was given by the forwards, and the combination of hard running enabled Ben Kay to drive over for a third Hemel try.
From the restart, a similar movement of the ball from right to left through quick hands allowed the ever impressive Nick Stowe to breakaway into the corner, capping yet another brilliant wing display by him. The try was converted by a consistent Oli Toms.
The Mount were not finished and some hard work allowed them to score a try of their own before half-time to make the scores 28-5.
The Mount carried this pressure into the second half and they began to make headway, using their significant weight advantage in the pack. This eventually paid off with a well worked forwards try which was converted.
Camelot responded superbly and once again the forwards were winning balls and rucking with gusto; quick hands and excellent pace saw Toms cross over to allow some more breathing space.
By this point in the match the superior fitness of The Mount was beginning to tell allowing them to cross over for a second try which was converted.
But final blood went to the Knights, with the forwards finding reserves of pace and power that allowed Adam Whyatt some space to break free and nearly get in the far corner for what would have been a well deserved try.
The ball was recycled quickly and once again fantastic hands by the backs allowed Barrie Matthews to get through to close out the game.
A special mention to Andy McCutcheon, Stephen Greedy, Mark Kwaricarny, Jon Byrne, Tom Wilcox, George Nash, Ben Kay, Jack Shield, Tom Batson, Stuart Watts, Oli Toms, Mark Pynaert, Toby Cozens, Nick Stowe, Barrie Matthews, Adam Whyatt, George Adams/Jackson and Andrew Greedy who all fronted up and in extremely intimidating conditions, showing grit, determination and skill.
Fingers crossed all will be healed for next week’s away game to Welwyn.