Day stars as Saints turn the lights out on Hadleigh
London Two North Hadleigh 25 St Albans 30 SAINTS went to Hadley on Saturday in search of a crucial win to boost their survival hopes in London Two North. Conditions were good at the Suffolk ground but St Albans found themselves 11-0 down after 13 minutes
London Two North Hadleigh 25 St Albans 30 SAINTS went to Hadley on Saturday in search of a crucial win to boost their survival hopes in London Two North. Conditions were good at the Suffolk ground but St Albans found themselves 11-0 down after 13 minutes. The first score for Saints came four minutes later as captain Dan Hillier took a textbook catch and the pack then pushed forward with the monumental drive of the season, led by the 'Godfather prop' Danny Batchelor. As they crossed Hadleigh's 22, the eight were joined by wingers Ed Coy and James Dickinson plus scrum half Gareth Day and John Sayers was able to touch down for a memorable 40-metre try. Saints were now in the ascendancy and number 13 Mark Kentish made 20 metres before he showed the faintest of dummies outside, then ghosted past Hadleigh's full back on the 22 to score a fine maiden try under the posts for his new club, which he converted himself. Saints now had a 12-11 lead but the home side responded and capitalised on some poor mistakes to surge ahead 20-12 before the break. Saints had gifted 15 points to Hadley and coach Tim Andrews was not impressed. The visitors needed to score quickly and county star Sayers showed his skills as he went over for another unstoppable try. Hadleigh then extended their lead to 25-17 before the game turned following a break in play for an injury, which seemed to galvanise the Saints. On 72 minutes flanker Ollie Cooper-Millar rolled off the maul five metres out on the blindside to feed Ed Coy who scored an unconverted try. Saints then took the lead six minutes later as athletic second row Donald Onyuma surged forward and right winger Ed Coy rolled off the drive to feed flanker Ollie Cooper-Millar on the short side. The young flanker burst away and scored in the corner to make it 27-25 to Saints. The match continued into injury time and in the fourth minute Mark Kentish kicked three points for St Albans after an offside and captain Dan Hillier then had the last word stealing Hadleigh's lineout and the final score was 30-25 to St Albans. Gareth Day was awarded the Man of the Match prize for Saints for his spirited all round game. He intelligently mixed up his options, kicking, sniping and passing but also played as an extra forward in all the drives that resulted in Saints' tries. On Sunday St Albans are in cup action at Boggymead Spring as rivals Bishop's Stortford come to the city for the quarter final tie in the Herts President's Cup. Kick off is 2pm. St Albans: D. Batchelor (B. Green 48), B. Lemiere, F. Mahoney, D. Hillier, D. Onyuma, R.Louw, O. Cooper-Millar (D. Mitchell 75), J. Sayers, G. Day, J. Stevenson, J. Dickinson, M. Alderton (P. James 77), M. Kentish, E. Coy, M. Shaw.