Kentish inspires Saints to fourth win
St Albans Rugby Club League London North West Three London Nigerians 24 St Albans 30 ST Albans had to survive a late onslaught at London Nigerians on Saturday as they made it four wins from five matches in London North West Three on Saturday.
St Albans Rugby Club
League London North West Three
London Nigerians 24 St Albans 30
ST Albans had to survive a late onslaught at London Nigerians on Saturday as they made it four wins from five matches in London North West Three on Saturday.
With conditions almost perfect it was London Nigerians who settled down first. Although the set pieces were quite even the home side used their possession better and their direct running confrontational style put Saints on the back foot.
Nigerians had the first opportunity to score with a penalty, but their kicker pulled it badly wide.
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St Albans opened the scoring with their first excursion into the opposition half with a well struck Mark Kentish penalty. However, the next 10 minutes belonged to the home side as they ran in two simple tries shrugging off some indifferent tackling. Unfortunately they could not convert either and with Kentish sending over another penalty their lead was restricted to four points.
The rest of the half was the Mark Kentish show. Firstly, he collected his own kick ahead and out sprinted the defence to score under the posts, and then he finished off the half taking a scoring pass from Charlie Howard who had ghosted through the Nigerians defence. He also converted both to give saints a 20-10 advantage at half time.
St Albans continued to dominate at the start of the second half and extended the lead 15 minutes into the half. The forwards drove play deep into Nigerians territory and when the ball was sent wide a simple dummy from Charlie Howard created a gap and he reached the try line untouched. The reliable Kentish converted, and extended the lead to 20 points with a penalty from the half way line with 20 minutes remaining.
At this point Nigerians stormed back into the game. With 10 minutes remaining they reduced the arrears with a converted try and within five minutes had reduced the deficit further with another converted try.
The lead was now down to six points and Nigerians were dominating the play. For the final five minutes they kept St Albans pinned inside their own half and exerted enormous pressure. To their credit St Albans marshalled their defence well and although they were often stretched they held out to the end to take the points.
Saints at times looked very good, at other times they looked fragile and far too many tackles were missed. On a brighter note new boys Gareth Lane and Justin Joubert fitted in well and with more game time should prove useful assets for the club. The coaches named Brenton Lemiere as Man of the Match.