Centurions lose to Northampton Demons

St Albans Centurions

St Albans Centurions - Credit: Archant

A TWENTY minute loss of concentration cost Centurions dearly on Saturday as they looked destined to win their second game of the season.

Leading 22-6 with 30 minutes left to play, Cents lost their control of the game as Northampton Demons ran in five tries to take a 12-point lead.

Tony Bottomley’s side responded with late pressure and six points, but the Demons held on to leave Cents exhausted and bewildered as to how they let the game slip away.

Played in 26-degree heat, Cents got off to a flying start when on the fifth tackle they decided to run which led to captain Rob Holbrook racing through the Demons’ defence to touch down.

The pressure on the visiting Demons was unrelenting as Cents forced a knock-on from which the forwards broke the line and, following a quick play, player-coach Andy Champ dived over from acting half.

After an unforced error of their own, Cents gave Northampton the chance to open their account with a converted try.

The home side quickly bounced back,forcing penalty after penalty from a desperate Demons’ defence. Eventually after one of many barnstorming runs, Joe Shaw fed Champ for his second try of the match.

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Shortly after, the same combination led to a fourth try, with Champ securing his hat-trick. But as all four conversions were missed, the half-time score stood at 16-6.

Any thoughts of the missed kicks proving crucial were dismissed when Centurions stretched the lead within a minute of the second half. On the restart Scott Clewlow smashed through the line and raced 60 metres before off-loading to Champ for his fourth try. Gareth Waters converted to give Cents a seemingly unassailable 16-point lead.

However, the wheels fell off for 20 minutes and, aided by poor tackling and tired defensive work, Demons took the lead.

Holbrook added six points for Cents to close the gap but Demons defence held firm against wave after wave of attack to win the game.

Cents are at home again on Saturday. They face Nottingham at 2.30pm at Toulmin Drive, New Greens. Free entry.