St Albans Centurions suffer wake-up call as Roosters are left to crow after big victory

Sam Beton dives over for Crusaders

Sam Beton dives over for Crusaders - Credit: Archant

St Albans Centurions suffered a wake-up call on their return to league action against St Ives Roosters on Saturday.

Having had a week off, but with their top-four position in the table secured, the hosts appeared to lose focus against a determined visiting side.

St Ives, meanwhile, kept things simple and maintained good discipline to run out easy 48-14 winners but club chairman Andy Lake remained philosophical about the loss.

"Every team has off-days and today was one we'll try hard to forget.

"After the first quarter, nothing seemed to click. The effort was there for all to see, but the lack of focus on basic skills cost us dearly.

"Lets hope we've got that out of our system and we can quickly return to better performances and winning ways."

Centurions flew out of the blocks to open the scoring after just five minutes as Sam Beton pounced on a defensive mistake to dive over in the corner.

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But St ives responded with a converted try of their own, before Toby Sweeney outmuscled the Roosters defence for a great solo try, which was converted by Alex Powdrell.

The impressive Alex Curtis smashed his way over for the third Centurions try on 29 minutes and a superb up-and-under was almost caught in the in-goal area soon after.

But by half time the game had slipped through the Centurions fingers, as St Ives scored two converted tries in the closing stages to move 18-14 up and the visitors never looked back after the restart, controlling all aspects of play.

They had built a 42-14 advantage by the hour mark and while nobody could question the fight and application of the Centurions, the more desperate they became to get themselves back into contention, the more unforced errors they made.

St Ives were content to manage the game by keeping it simple and kicking the ball long on the final tackle to send their hosts back and gain field position.

And another converted try for the Roosters in the final minute of play was no more than they deserved and brought the curtain down on a disappointing day for St Albans.

Centurions will hope to bounce back quickly when they play host to Hemel Stags in the semi-finals of the cup on June 29 (2.30pm start).