In-form Saints pick-up another win after Hemel success

St Albans continued their fine form in 2016 with a win over Hemel Hempstead. Picture: KEVIN LINES

St Albans continued their fine form in 2016 with a win over Hemel Hempstead. Picture: KEVIN LINES - Credit: Archant

St Albans Rugby Club kept up their fine start to the New Year with a 15-12 win over Hemel Hempstead.

The victory at Boggymead came courtesy of tries from Joe Pleece and coach Jeremy Walmsley and makes it four wins from five games since the turn of the year.

This wasn’t a classic by any stretch but Saints won’t mind as long as the wins keep coming.

Both sides cancelled each other out for the majority of the game although it was the hosts who had the better of the early exchanges without finding the gap in the Hemel defences that would give them the advantage.

Half time came with neither side able to trouble the scorers.

However, that would change shortly after the break.

St Albans remained the more-likely to open the scoring and so it proved when Pleece finished off a fine driving maul.

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Mark Kentish added the conversion to put Saints 7-0 in front.

That lead was extended to 12 when the ever reliable Walmsley crossed the Hemel line,

But if Saints thought the game was won, they were rudely mistaken.

Hemel began to turn the screw on what had been a solid scrum, forcing St Albans back.

And it wasn’t long before Hemel scored a converted try following committed driving play.

The visitors then drew level following a kick ahead that was fumbled behind the Saints line, the Hemel winger proving ever the opportunist.

Both sides tried to assert themselves to get the crucial score but it was Saints who were rewarded when Hemel were penalised and Kentish kicked the winning penalty.

The victory keeps St Albans in sixth place but they will face a stern test of their recent good form when they travel to league leaders London Nigerian a week on Saturday.

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