St Albans' cup run is ended

PUBLISHED: 09:58 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

St Albans look to halt Towcestrians

St Albans look to halt Towcestrians

EDF Senior Vase Fifth Round St Albans 13 Towcestrians 18 ST ALBANS run in the EDF Senior Vase was ended on Saturday after a narrow loss to Midland Three South outfit Towcestrians. Because of an inequality of numbers, St Albans had been shifted to the Mid

EDF Senior Vase Fifth Round

St Albans 13 Towcestrians 18

ST ALBANS' run in the EDF Senior Vase was ended on Saturday after a narrow loss to Midland Three South outfit Towcestrians. Because of an inequality of numbers, St Albans had been shifted to the Midlands division and therefore knew little of their opponents. Overnight rain and a gusty wind made conditions difficult and both sides found it difficult to sustain pressure on the opposition line.

St Albans started the game well and had early opportunities to take the lead but kicker Mark Kentish found the windy conditions difficult and saw two early kicks go wide. The visitors played a forward-oriented game rarely passing beyond the inside centre. Their strategy was to use their big back row to drive forward but it floundered on sound tackling. St Albans played a more expansive game but also found progress difficult and the match was largely played out in midfield.

St Albans opened the scoring midway through the half with a penalty goal and stayed in front until first-half injury time when Towcestrians scored a try against the run of play which was converted to give the visitors a 7-3 half time advantage.

After the break, Towcestrians enjoyed their best period and extended their lead with two huge penalties, both from almost half way. With the wind at their backs they played a simple game plan with kicks to the corners. However, whenever the ball went into touch, the St Albans line out functioned well whilst the visitors' hooker seemed unable to throw in straight. With about ten minutes left to play, Towcestrians stretched their lead again when a loose ball was hacked on and their winger won the race to the touchdown but the conversion was missed.

St Albans threw caution to the wind and went to all out attack. They ran possession from all parts of the pitch and, with five minutes left, scored an unconverted try through John Andrews. The large Towcestrians pack looked to have run out of steam and the St Albans eight gained full control of the forward battle. For the only time in the match they were able to exert consistent pressure.

St Albans were awarded a penalty under the posts with about two minutes of normal play left. They elected to take the scrum and number eight Joe Shaw picked up and drove forward. He was held up just short of the line but the ball was retained and hooker Andy Wheldon went over in the corner.

From the restart St Albans were back on the attack looking for the score that would give them an unlikely victory. However, as they launched another attack they were penalised at a ruck and as the penalty kick went into touch the referee called an end to the match. Although they lost this was a better performance from St Albans and as their injured players return they should get back to winning ways. This week St Albans are back in league action with a trip to London New Zealand.

St Albans: Kentish, Andrews, Dickenson, Morete, Coy, Alderton, Lister; Lemiere, Weldon, Green, Hillier, Huddleston, Styles, Cooper Miller, Shaw. Subs: Lee, Callan, Davy, Grover.

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