Perfect preparation for the Albans derby as both Vees and Saints start with victory
PUBLISHED: 16:50 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 12 September 2017
Verulamians Rugby Club got their first season at the higher level off to the perfect start – with a 33-5 success at Datchworth.
Promotion as champions from Hert Middlesex One last year put Vees into London North West Three for the first time in their history.
And they clearly enjoyed the experience following the short trip up the A1.
A heavy rain shower at the start of the game made handling difficult initially but Vees took to it like the proverbial ducks.
They were 16 points up in as many minutes thanks to three penalties from Alex Ricci and a converted debut try from Jack Thompson who side-stepped his way over the line.
But after this rush of points, the game then slipped into a frustrating, error-strewn period with the ball often going to ground because of the conditions.
And while Vees kept the pressure on for the rest of the half, the hosts were able to relieve the pressure with booming clearing kicks down field.
A cheeky side-step from Datchworth’s Tom Bennett opened the hosts’ account after the break but it would be the only time they troubled the scorers.
It forced Vees to step their own game up and Ricci, who finished with a perfect record with the boot, added another penalty shortly after.
The visitors’ back row suddenly came on song and tore through the Datchworth defence to enable Joe Seymour to touch down close to the posts.
Ricci took the score onto 26-5.
And to add a fitting climax to their historic game, the Vees’ backs interlinked with the ever-present back row to send winger Eion Ahearne over for the final try, again converted.
Their first home game of the season comes on Saturday when St Albans come to Cotlandswick.
Saints also opened up with a victory, beating Cheshunt 17-15 at Boggymead.
Harry Trude got their first score with a penalty but by this stage Cheshunt had racked up 10 points.
The fly-half though was on hand to kick a conversion and level the scores after Will Alcott had crossed the whitewash.
That was the half-time score but an unconverted try put the visitors back in front.
However, up stepped skipper Brent Lemiere to find a way over the line and Trude kicked the winning points.