Derby delight for Saints as promotion bid continues but Vees show promise for 2020

PUBLISHED: 06:15 19 December 2019

Verulamians V St Albans .


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Verulamians V St Albans . Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans .


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans . Picture: Karyn Haddon

But despite the differing fortunes of the two clubs, this was not as one-way as some would have thought before kick-off.

Verulamians V St Albans - Peter Strain of Verulamians hands off St Albans' Sam Howell.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Peter Strain of Verulamians hands off St Albans' Sam Howell. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Vees may be at the wrong end of the table but they scrapped for every point and made life uncomfortable at times for Saints.

Verulamians V St Albans - David Coyle in action for the Verulamians.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - David Coyle in action for the Verulamians. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans - .


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - . Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans - Peter Strain in action for Verulamians.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Peter Strain in action for Verulamians. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans - Peter Strain in action for Verulamians.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Peter Strain in action for Verulamians. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans. Verulamians and St Albans prepare for a scrum. Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans. Verulamians and St Albans prepare for a scrum. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The match had been fractious for the most part and injuries and the intervention of the referee continue to stall the flow.

Verulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell of St Albans tries to get away from Verulamians' Peter Strain.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell of St Albans tries to get away from Verulamians' Peter Strain. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But it was at this point that Vees finally got onto the scoreboard with a deserved try

Verulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell in action for St Albans.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell in action for St Albans. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans - Joe Shaw in action for St Albans.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Joe Shaw in action for St Albans. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell and George Elliott in action for St Albans.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell and George Elliott in action for St Albans. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But Saints justifiably maintained their promotion seeking status with more scores as the match came to a close.

Verulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell of St Albans tries to get away from Verulamians' Peter Strain.


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans - Sam Howell of St Albans tries to get away from Verulamians' Peter Strain. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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.

Verulamians V St Albans .


Picture: Karyn HaddonVerulamians V St Albans . Picture: Karyn Haddon

Vees' next game is on January 11 against Saracens Amateurs while Saints restart a week later.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser