Good Knight! Centurions go back to the top of the table again with North Herts win
- Credit: Archant
St Albans Centurions stormed back to the top of the East Rugby League table with a comprehensive 52-26 win away to North Herts Knights.
It wasn't as straight-forward as the score suggested though and it needed a strong final quarter at Hitchin Rugby Club to become far more routine.
The Knights also had their eyes on top spot and after racing into an early lead, they dominated the tackle to keep St Albans penned in their own half.
A barnstorming try from Callum Porter helped restore parity before the Knights crossed under the posts again.
But Scott Clewlow smashed through the North Herts defence and with Chad Tunley adding his second conversion, the scores were levelled once more.
For the rest of the half though it was the Centurions who were on top with Andrew Spencer and Kieran O'Shea adding exquisite tries and Tunley a third conversion before Knights scored on the stroke of half time to make it 22-16.
Early chances to stretch the lead went begging as St Albans made unforced errors close to the line.
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Godson Sadd showed the rest how it was done to finish off a great team play, only for the Knights to go up the other end and score another try of their own. Sadd soon added another just before the hour mark, only for the Knights to peg the scores back again.
But that was the home team's last hurrah and in the stifling heat, the Centurions' extra pace and mobility left the Knights' forwards trailing in their wake.
Alex Powdrell scored with an impudent dart from acting half-back and O'Shea broke the line to run in from distance.
Rob Chapman dived over in the corner to finish off a sublime move and finally, the impressive Sam Bucknall surged over the line to cap off a great performance.
Conversions from Powdrell and Tom Spratt completed the scoring.
Simba Mupamhanga was pleased by the way his players stuck to their task.
The player-coach said: "The Knights are a big team and made some crunching tackles early in the game but our forwards hurt them too.
"And we knew if we stuck at it, our extra speed and handing skills would prevail.
"In the end we should have won by more."
Cents are away to Hemel Stags on Saturday.