Match preview: Hemel Hempstead vs St Albans

The ball goes loose

The ball goes loose - Credit: Archant

It’s do or die for relegation threatened St Albans RFC as they go head-to-head with already relegated London Two North West side Hemel Hempstead on Saturday.

The Saints sit nine points from safety behind Old Merchant Taylors (OMT) and nothing less than a victory against winless Hemel will suffice to keep their faint survival hopes alive.

Saturday’s hosts, posting a paltry three wins in their toilsome season, won the reverse fixture back in November in a tight and tepid 8-3 win and captain Harry Trude knows that anything less than a win isn’t good enough.

“It’s all about winning at this stage, we just have to win,” said a bullish Trude.

“We have taken a lot of confidence from our recent performances against the top two sides (Old Haberdashers and Harrow) where we played some great rugby.

“Hemel will be raring to go in the belief that they can snap their losing streak but we are feeling very positive.”

St Albans’ fierce rivals Harpenden, who are chasing promotion, face OMT this weekend and a win for Harps would greatly aid Saints’ cause but Trude is completely focused on their task at hand.

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“It’s a huge rivalry between us and Harpenden but we won’t be focusing on them for a second, our task is hard enough as it is,” he said.

The 11th placed Saints will be at full strength for Saturday’s clash at Boggymead if John Sayers and Sam Millicheap recover in time in this crucial contest.

With just four games remaining, St Albans’ survival is out of their hands and it is imperative that Trude’s side pick up points in their matches against H.A.C. (seventh) and Chiswick (second) before their pivotal relegation decider with OMT.