Derby delight for Saints as promotion bid continues but Vees show promise for 2020
- Credit: Archant
St Albans ended 2019 back in the promotion places at the top of Herts Middlesex Division One but perhaps more importantly from their point of view with the bragging rights after a 46-14 derby win at Verulamians.
But despite the differing fortunes of the two clubs, this was not as one-way as some would have thought before kick-off.
Vees may be at the wrong end of the table but they scrapped for every point and made life uncomfortable at times for Saints.
It took both teams some time to adjust to the heavy conditions and the stiff breeze blowing across the Cotlandswick turf but slowly the visiting forwards started to show why they are such a potent force.
A scrum close to the Vees line on 20 minutes saw a huge push give Syd Noad the opening score and 10 minutes later winger Fraser Morris found himself in space and raced through to add another try.
A third score followed before the interval, Andy Sinton darting over after yet more power from the Saints pack with George Elliott adding the conversion.
A change in the pattern of play seemed unlikely too after the resumption with Joe Seymour and a second try for winger Sinton, again converted by Elliott, giving St Albans more than ample breathing space.
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The match had been fractious for the most part and injuries and the intervention of the referee continue to stall the flow.
But it was at this point that Vees finally got onto the scoreboard with a deserved try
Peter Wampamba, a new and young arrival in the centres showed his pace and guile to collect a brace of tries that were both converted.
And the return of Joe Breeze at scrum-half as well as die-hards Darren Westhead and Tim Fretter, plus Casey Lynch and Sam Perry, will give the home side plenty of cause for optimism in 2020.
But Saints justifiably maintained their promotion seeking status with more scores as the match came to a close.
Prop Liam Rogers had steamed though the home defence for a great individual try that was converted and Elliott finished things off with two tries of his own, one of which came with the two extra points.
Vees' next game is on January 11 against Saracens Amateurs while Saints restart a week later.