Biggest loss of the season for Cents

Scott Clewlow and Ryan Shorter make the tackle.

Scott Clewlow and Ryan Shorter make the tackle. - Credit: Archant

Assistant coach Andy Lake blamed a lack of execution for St Albans Centurions’ biggest loss of the season so far.

Cents defend against an Hemel attack.

Cents defend against an Hemel attack. - Credit: Archant

Having played a charity match against the British Army on Wednesday, Cents picked up four key injuries, which proved pivotal as Hemel Stags won 46-6.

A disconsolate Lake said: This was a bad day at the office. I won’t blame the midweek army game for this result. We lost this game against a big, well drilled and efficient team as we were inconsistent and our plays lacked execution.

“We also lost four players to injuries, so had to reorganise on the run. I hope we get some of them back for next week’s game at Colchester against the Eastern Rhinos.”

The game started in sunshine and both teams refused to yield to their local rivals, with the tackles coming in thick and fast.

On the 10-minute mark Cents Dan Tominey had to go to hospital with a broken nose, and shortly after Hemel scored their first converted try.

The rain began to pour down making the pitch and ball slippery. After 20 minutes Cents suffered another blow when one of their star players, Joe Shaw, left the field with a hamstring injury, and on the restart Hemel ran in three converted tries.

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St Albans could not use their speed players as the Hemel tactics of holding down as long as possible in the tackles to slow the game down for their larger players worked to perfection. At half-time, Hemel led 24-0.

The second half could not have started worse for the home team as the visitors scored two quick tries in the first 10 minutes of play.

More problems for Cents arose when their half back Ashley Westhead had to leave the field with a head injury. The Cents, now missing three key players, had some reorganising on the run to do but could not stop the Stags scoring two more tries.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, the rain stopped and the sun came out, but it brought no sunshine for St Albans as captain Mike Hollister was taken off with a leg injury.

Cents finally got on the score board with 10 minutes left when George Steven burst through three tackles to score under the post. Full back Gareth Waters kicked the conversion, bringing an end to a forgetful game for Cents.