Cents beat Bedford in friendly as clubs raise £750 for Sport Relief

Rob Holbrook scores the Cents second try.

Rob Holbrook scores the Cents second try. - Credit: Archant

St Albans Centurions beat Bedford Tigers in their second pre-season friendly on Sunday at Toulmin Drive.

Joe Shaw drives the ball in.

Joe Shaw drives the ball in. - Credit: Archant

As well as aiding Cents’ preparations for the season, which starts on April 26, the game also raised money for Sports Relief. Both teams wore red socks, a red ball was used, a auction was held as well as ‘crossbar challenge’ as £750 was donated to the charity.

Scott Clellow scores a try.

Scott Clellow scores a try. - Credit: Archant

This game was used by the coaching team of Obi Ijeoma and Andy Lake to put their team through their paces, and they could have had no better start. Within three minutes of the kick-off, Joe Shaw ran in Cents first try, followed three minutes later by Rob Holbrook.

Sam Norris jinked over the line after 12 minutes and Cents forward Scott Clellow scored the fourth try for St Albans on the 20th minute. All tries were converted by full back Gareth Walters.

Bedford gradually got over this blitz of tries and began to fight back, although they could not stop Ryan Shorter and Josh Lawrence both running in great tries for the Centurions towards the end of the first half.

The Tigers scored their first converted try as the end of the half as the teams turned around with Cents leading 34-6.

It was all change after half time, the Cents replaced several first teamers with players new to rugby league to give them a run out, and experimented by moving several players to new positions.

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Bedford seemed to sense their time had come, and it was St Albans’ turn to be bombarded with tries as the Tigers ran in 26 unanswered points to bring the score to 34 – 32 with three minutes to go.

Straight from the last kick-off the Centurions attacked the Bedford line, and when Shorter was held up on the line on one side of the pitch, quick hands spread the ball the full width of the pitch to Brad Webber who crashed over the line to score the last try of the game and give Cents a 38 – 32 victory.

After the match, David Stevens, Centurions’ director of rugby said: “That kind of game was just what we needed. We dominated in the first half with some great rugby and then in the second half we moved players around and they had to defend for most of the game.

“Next week we travel to Beckenham in south London for another pre season friendly, and after that display I think we will do well.”