Flurry of tries downs Cents

Ross Dempsey takes the ball forward.

Ross Dempsey takes the ball forward. - Credit: Archant

A torrid 15 minutes resigned Centurions to defeat at title favourites London Skolars A on Saturday.

Losing 8-4 with 50 minutes on the clock, Cents capitulated and Skolars ran in four converted tries to build up an unassailable lead, eventually winning the game 32-8.

Cents assistant coach Andy Lake said: “The game was far more even than the score line suggests. We lost it in the second half when we had a horrible 15 minutes when we let in four tries without answer, and then left it too late to fight back.

“The majority of the game was fairly even, a hard game but even. The boys played really well, and don’t forget we are a fully amateur club playing against a professional rugby clubs ‘A’ team.”

The amateurs started the game with a bang as Kieran O’Shea received a kick-off and showed a clean pair of heels to score the quickest try of the season so far.

The rain that had been falling then became torrential and had an effect on the game with both teams losing the wet, slippery ball in tackles and having difficulty in keeping their feet.

After a further 15 minutes the home side ran in an unconverted try, and the north London side added another four points 10 minutes before half-time.

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The second half promised to be as close as the first with both teams putting in heavy tackles, then after 10 minutes, in what proved to be the deciding 15 minutes of play, Skolars added 24 points to their tally.

The game then continued with the teams playing end to end rugby and only last ditch tackles by both teams saved more tries from being scored.

With 10 minutes left on the clock Lewis Dempsey, one of the three Dempsey brothers playing for the Cents, took the ball 15 yards out and burst through the defensive line to score an unconverted try.

The last 10 minutes were all St Albans as they pounded the London line time after time, with Joe Shaw, Rob Holbrook and George Stevens all being held up. However, the large Skolars forwards were up to the job of defending their line against all the Cents threw at them and no more points were scored.

Next week the Cents travel to West Ham to play the Newham Dockers in the second round of the London Cup.

• St Albans Centurions will be playing the British Army Rugby League team at their Toulmin Drive ground at 6.30pm on Wednesday, May 21 in aid of the TroopAid charity. Entry is free but a ‘donation bucket’ will be passed around.