Centurions triumph in tournament
Tri-team Tournament London Skolars Premier 22 St Albans Centurions 36 ST Albans Centurions provided a glimpse of a bright future with a magnificent performance on Easter Monday to crush London Skolars Premier and secure the Tri-team Tournament trophy.
London Skolars Premier 22 St Albans Centurions 36
ST Albans Centurions provided a glimpse of a bright future with a magnificent performance on Easter Monday to crush London Skolars Premier and secure the Tri-team Tournament trophy.
The winning margin of 16 points means that the Cents top the league table, finishing above both Skolars and Hemel Stags.
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Coach Shane Rampling had opted to give run outs to a host of junior players in preparation for the league season ahead and his bold decision paid dividends. Rampling said: "The future of this club looks great with young guys like these coming up through the ranks. Today they were awesome and showed a maturity beyond their years."
The game was played in bitterly cold conditions and with handling difficult it took the Cents some time to settle. They conceded an early try before responding after 15 minutes when Miles Dempsey burst through to score his first try of the afternoon.
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The more experienced London side hit back with a try before Lewis Padmore, kicked from 10 metres out on the last tackle. The ball hit the upright and Padmore gathered to touch down under the posts. John Collins converted to add the extra two points.
For the rest of the first half the Cents had to soak up pressure and relied on a try saving tackle from Jack Cornthwaite. Skolars eventually got through though to lead 16-10 at half time.
The second half was a different story as the Centurions dominated the rest of the match. Despite having Andy Lake and Adam Cox sin binned for 10 minutes, the St Albans side continued to put pressure on their opponents and gradually gained the upper hand. They were more determined and more committed in every department of the game.
On 60 minutes, Shane Rampling made a fine break and slipped the ball to John Collins to score under the posts. Collins added the goal to level the score at 16-16.
Cents were now on top and after, winning the ball against the head St Albans set up a great attack as Paul Maloney burst through the Skolars defence. The ball went along the line and Miles Dempsey forced his way over the whitewash to score his second try, converted by Pete Chapman from the touchline.
St Albans continued to dominate and scored another try in the same corner when Chris True touched down after good work from Jamie Molloy and Miles Dempsey.
Everything was going wrong for the London Skolars and a poor kick on the last tackle, metres from the Centurions line, was kicked on by Jamie Molloy. The Centurions went the length of the field as the excellent John Collins hacked the ball on and gathered it to score under the posts. Hancock's goal made it 32-16 but Cents weren't finished yet. Another trademark burst from Paul Maloney saw him power his way through for four more points.
In the dying seconds, the Skolars Premier scored a consolation try but this was a well deserved, resounding victory for the Centurions. The result was also a tribute to the club's impressive development policy.
St Albans Centurions: Cornthwaite, True, Molloy, Dempsey, Turk, Rampling, Warner, Barnes, Collins, Lake, Cox, Chapman, Maloney, Weldon, Hancock, Rayner, Padmore.