Cents roar back to chase Stags

St Albans Centurions 24 Hemel Stags 26 ST Albans Centurions staged a magnificent fight back at the Recreation Ground on Sunday to challenge Hemel Stags in a thrilling friendly clash. Hemel started the pre-season clash brightly to lead 12-0 before the Cen

St Albans Centurions 24 Hemel Stags 26

ST Albans Centurions staged a magnificent fight back at the Recreation Ground on Sunday to challenge Hemel Stags in a thrilling friendly clash.

Hemel started the pre-season clash brightly to lead 12-0 before the Centurions fought back and a barnstorming run from Paul Maloney saw him slip the ball to Oli Fountain who made 40 metres before offloading to Jacques Steinberg to score his debut try for the club.

Hemel scored to extend their lead but Cents kept battling and on 20 minutes from a scrum Shane Rampling moved the ball out to Fountain and Joe Brace touched down in the corner.


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Just before half time Hemel exploited a huge gap in the St Albans defence and the Stags went in to the break deservedly leading 20-8.

It was a different matter in the second half. The Centurions were much more fired up and broke the length of the field in a set of six, involving fine work from the returning hardy perennial, Richard Smith, and on the last tackle Oli Fountain slipped the ball inside for Miles Dempsey to score.

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So fired up were the Cents that they managed to have both 'Monty' Morne and Rudi Van der Mewre sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Astonishingly, it was the Centurions who scored as another debutant, Vorster, grabbed his first try for the club and Morne was back on the field to add the extra two points.

A few minutes later St Albans took the lead for the first time when Joe Brace scored his second try of the afternoon after the Cents had stormed upfield. 'Monty' Morne slotted over the conversion to make it 24-20 and the Centurions were ahead.

Hemel were not beaten though and a late try and conversion game them a 26-24 win.

On Saturday St Albans Centurions are away to London Skolars in another pre-season friendly.

Centurions: Doyle, Morne, O. Fountain, Dempsey, Myers, Rampling, Van Der Merwe, Lake, Hancock, Weldon, Millar, Chapman, Maloney, Surtees, Brace, Steinberg, Vorster, True, N. Fountain.

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