Slideshow: Home record blown away as Skolars pass the test
Rugby League Conference Southern Premier St Albans Centurions 20 London Skolars 36 ST Albans Centurions suffered their first ever home league defeat at their Colney Heath ground on Saturday when they went down 20–36 to a powerful London Skolars side.
Rugby League Conference Southern Premier
St Albans Centurions 20 London Skolars 36
ST Albans Centurions suffered their first ever home league defeat at their Colney Heath ground on Saturday when they went down 20-36 to a powerful London Skolars side.
The Cents, who switched to the Recreation Ground for season 2007 scored the first try when powerhouse Lewis Padmore, belied his injury concerns, and went over after Shane Rampling's kick was fumbled by the visitors.
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Five minutes later new signing, Alistair Scott did well to intercept on his own line and after strong running from Paul Maloney and Chris True had moved the home side up field, the Cents increased their lead when Richard Smith powered through and stretched over for a fine individual try. Oli Fountain added the goal.
Fountain was on the score sheet again on 30 minutes as he showed tremendous speed and real power, shrugging off tackles to touch down. He converted his own try and the St Albans side had raced into a 16-0 lead and might have thought that victory was theirs.
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Moments later, Fountain made a try saving tackle on speedy Skolars winger, Russell Brooks, who had made a sensational, length of the field break. Skolars regrouped and as Cents seem to lose concentration, prop Glen Osborn tapped the ball and dived over to score.
Centurions came under pressure as they conceded a series of penalties and paid the price when centre Steve Forbes powered over for a try for Skolars, which Leigh Nissen converted to reduce their half time deficit to 16-10.
The second half started with London Skolars further narrowing the lead as prop Jeremy Benson scored from a suspiciously forward pass.
Cents hit back when they did well to keep the ball alive on the last tackle with kicks from Fountain, True and Rampling. The good work forced a scrum and Angus Simpson and Oli Fountain combined to send over Mike Okwusogu for a try on his return to the club.
The Cents continued to threaten with strong runs from Roy Dube and Dan Hensby but it was the Skolars who were gaining the upper hand and grabbed an easy try to level the scores.
With 15 minutes to go, the Skolars took the lead for the first time when centre Jay Udu-Udoma took advantage of a mix up, as a ball from Shane Rampling bounced off Mike Okwusogu straight into his hands for a simple four points.
The Centurions showed a lack of discipline as they conceded more penalties, and with only minutes to go, Mario du Toit took advantage of the disarray, grabbing a controversial try after a confusing play on the sixth tackle.
With Paul Maloney sin binned for dissent, the Skolars rubbed salt into the wound when Smokie Junor scored in the dying seconds after a brilliant offload from prop Glen Osborn.
Centurions: True, Scott, Fountain, van der Merwe, Hensby, Kellaway, Rampling, Dube, Simpson, Lye, Maloney, Cornthwaite, Smith, Padmore, Okwusogu, Stout, Prout.