Saints frustrated by Hampstead
London Three North West St Albans 6 Hampstead 19 ST ALBANS fell to their third defeat in a row as Hampstead outscored them on Saturday. However, this was not a bad performance by the home side and with better execution the score could have been very diff
London Three North West
St Albans 6 Hampstead 19
ST ALBANS fell to their third defeat in a row as Hampstead outscored them on Saturday.
However, this was not a bad performance by the home side and with better execution the score could have been very different. Even the weather seemed to conspire against Saints as they played the first half into a strong breeze and frequent hail storms, and the second in pleasant sunshine.
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The exchange referee was intent on making his mark and the game was littered with penalties which certainly left the home supporters quite frustrated.
To their credit Hampstead adapted to him much better, whilst the St Albans pack, which was the youngest Saints pack for years, failed to get to grips.
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In the early exchanges it was easy to see why Hampstead have climbed the league and handed Tabard a lesson last week.
A good pack was complimented by strong running three quarters. Initially, Saints' inexperienced pack struggled to make an impact and play was kept within the confines of their half.
Hampstead opened the scoring with a well struck long range penalty after only two minutes.
As the penalty count rose both sides saw efforts on goal go wide, before Mark Kentish levelled the scores after twelve minutes had elapsed.
Almost immediately St Albans fell behind to what turned out to be the only try of the game. From the restart Saints cleared their lines with a long kick, Hampstead countered from deep, but their attack ended in a knock on. St Albans picked up the loose ball but immediately knocked on themselves. The referee did not go back for the first offence and gave Hampstead the put in, in a good attacking position.
From the scrum a well worked switch move resulted in the centre touching down under the posts. The conversion gave the visitors a 10-3 advantage which Kentish reduced to 10-6 just before half time.
The second half was a strange affair. In terms of attacking play St Albans had the better of the exchanges, and with more precision would have had at least two tries.
However all the good lead up play was wasted by poor passes, knock ons, and good scrambling defence.
The St Albans pack had a better second half but still failed to adjust to the referee and gave the Hampstead kicker plenty of practice at goal.
During the half he added three more penalties to give the final score a lob sided look.
Although this was a frustrating afternoon for St Albans the coaches could take some heart from the second half display from the pack.
From the first game of the season, also against Hampstead, only one member of the pack remained the same, the rest are all injured except captain Brent Green who withdrew late in the week for personal reasons.
St Albans are away to the Medical students at Imperial Collage on Saturday.