Superb St Albans show their promotion credentials to end unbeaten Finsbury Park run
PUBLISHED: 16:30 25 October 2018
St Albans served notice to the rest of Herts Middlesex Division One with victory over Finsbury Park – we’re here to win promotion.
The London club came into the contest at Boggymead unbeaten and sitting top of the table after five straight wins.
But the 22-17 success shows St Albans, now up to fourth, are more than capable of matching that pace.
They started well and applied the early pressure, as they showed an intensity that has not been as evident in previous games.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring though, using their swift back line to capitalise on the breakdown of a Saints attack and run in an unconverted try.
But St Albans didn’t allow this setback to deter them from the task in hand and from the restart they immediately put pressure on the visitors.
It all led to a George Elliott penalty reducing the gap to two and that deficit was soon wiped out altogether when the excellent Fraser Morris found a gap in the Park defence.
He was stopped just short of the line but prop forward Allen Ongori was on hand to finish the move and Elliott’s conversion made it 10-5 to the hosts.
There was still time in the half for the pendulum to swing the other way though and a second unconverted try meant the teams turned round locked at 10-10.
The second half continued where the first had left off with both sides testing each other for weakness.
A yellow card to Finsbury gave Saints the momentum and it allowed Joe Shaw to power over after a well-worked line-out move.
Now in the ascendency Saints kept up the intensity and from a breakdown to a Finsbury Park move, winger Andy Sinton kicked through and won the foot race to score under the posts. Harry Trude added the conversion.
Finsbury Park responded with much-needed urgency and with 10 minutes to go an unconverted try reduced the gap back to five.
But despite much effort they couldn’t find another way through and Saints took the win.
It was a great day all round as not only did the seconds win but perhaps more importantly, the club fielded a third senior side, bucking the trend of recent years across the country.