Centurions hold firm to tame Tigers and claim the win

Josh Lawrence on his way to score for St Albans Centurions.

Josh Lawrence on his way to score for St Albans Centurions. - Credit: DARRYL BROWN

St Albans Centurions came away with a win in one of their closest and toughest games of the East Rugby League season so far.

The Centurions claimed an 18-16 victory over Bedford Tigers at their Toulmin Drive home in a match that was always going to be a battle, the visitors listing five players in their squad who usually play for their senior team in the higher Southern Conference League.

Tom Spratt charges the Bedford defensive line.

Tom Spratt charges the Bedford defensive line. - Credit: DARRYL BROWN

The game started with good running and moves from both sides, with some mighty tackles thrown in for good measure.

But it was Cents who broke the deadlock, Jake Lawrence scoring a try out wide in the 10th minute.

The conversion and the same was true 15 minutes later after St Albans had scored a second try,  a great move ending up going to Josh Lawrence via a short pass and he crashed through the Tigers defensive wall.

But that prompted a fight back and in the last few minutes of the half, three tries were scored.

Two of them went to Ryan Litchfield with the third to Saints, although both of Bedford's were converted to leave the score tied at 12-12.

Rob Campbell on the charge for St Albans Centurions against Bedford.

Rob Campbell on the charge for St Albans Centurions against Bedford. - Credit: DARRYL BROWN

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The second half was just as intense, both teams had periods camped in their own half as the opposition tried to break through.

Both held out though and any frustrations or technical infringements were quickly stamped out by the official.

Bedford got the first score of the half though, Rhys George getting through, but crucially, this was their only score not to be converted.

Martin Day scores for the Cents against Bedford.

Martin Day scores for the Cents against Bedford. - Credit: DARRYL BROWN

With 15 minutes to go, St Albans threw everything at the Tigers and it was outstanding play by Cents forward Martin Day, who not only drove the ball in on the first set of six, but was there at the third tackle to crash through four Bedford players and score.

With the score at 16-16, Gareth Waters stepped up to convert and give the home side the win.

Cents coach Sam Wingad said: "That was a game you would expect from the teams in first and second place in the league.

"No quarter was asked for or given and there were some great attacking moves and magnificent defence.

"I can't pick any one player out as being better than any other. They were all outstanding."