Baker’s dozen give St Albans Centurions sweet revenge in cup with Brentwood victory
PUBLISHED: 12:29 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:38 30 May 2018
St Albans Centurions gained revenge for last week’s league defeat by beating Brentwood Eels 40-20 on their own turf in the East League Cup.
The only downside to the game was a potential leg-break for Iain Langley which left the Cents with just the bare minimum 13 players.
That was in the first half but with coach Simba Mupamhanga scheming away at acting half and captain Joe Baker leading from the front, St Albans responded magnificently to earn a famous cup victory.
The match started brightly enough with Tom Spratt touching down in the second minute after some exceptional handling from the forwards to keep the ball alive.
Brentwood hit straight back though with two stylish tries of their own in an uncompromising start to a contest that was well-controlled by the young referee.
It was the man in the middle who immediately ordered for an ambulance to be called when a three-man tackle on Langley saw him fall to the floor in agony.
The rest of the first period was played out without any further troubles for the scoreboard, the Eels leading 10-6.
But the second half began as brightly as the first did with St Albans again grabbing another converted try, this after 42 minutes.
Jake Lawrence was responsible for both the touchdown and the conversion and from their the big boys took over.
Playing down the slope, the forwards put on something of a masterclass as first Joe Shaw and then player-coach Mupamhanga broke through a tiring Eels’ defence.
The ever-reliable Scott Cluelow added another try after the hour-mark before Baker made it a round half-a-dozen on 71 minutes.
Lawrence added his second and Cents’ seventh in the final minute.
The skipper couldn’t hide his delight after the match.
Baker said: “Against all the odds we came away with a thoroughly deserved win. It seems we’re at our best when our backs are against the wall.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the lads today but know that it will count for nothing if we don’t carry the same level of performance into the next game.”
That next match sees the Centurions travel to Milton Keynes Wolves on Saturday for a 2pm kick-off.
The cup semi-final is on June 16.