Saints leave it late
Last gasp try seals St Albans win
St Albans II 29 Harpenden II 21
ST ALBANS II left it late to seal victory against local rivals Harpenden at Boggymead Spring on Saturday.
Paul Randall has the worst job in rugby, trying to gather together a team every Saturday when no one is available. Even the chance to play in a local derby against fierce rivals Harpenden isn’t enough of a carrot for some players and so St Albans started the match with 14 and ended with 12.
Roland Everall heroically left his sick bed and played in the front row and his addition meant there were contested scrums even when St Albans had only six in the pack.
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Harpenden opened the scoring and there were nervous thoughts of the game ending up very one sided. However the resolve of the Saints got them get right back into the game with a try of their own from James Dicker, sidestepping his man after the ball had been worked along the line.
Saints were again to score as Ross Taylor went over, again through a great backs move.
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Harpenden opted not to use their backs as their fly-half peppered St Albans’ full-back with high ball. Those he couldn’t catch were turned into scrums and this was to be Harpenden’s main strike weapon. The bigger Harpenden pack made effective use of the rolling maul and it was difficult to stop.
The half ended 12-11 to Saints and they would have scored another, had captain Paul Randall convinced the referee to award a penalty against him for foul language.
The second half was to see some of the best rugby played at Boggymead. St Albans lost two men in the space of ten minutes taking them down to just 12 men.
Fraser Morris rose to the occasion and he ran through the entire right flank of the Harpenden team to score a magnificent solo try.
St Albans were to concede two tries as Harpenden worked of their three man overlap and it looked like the flood gates were about to open but the visitors gave away a penalty in front of their posts and Dave Watkins buried the ball somewhere in the Busy Bees Nursery. The game looked won but from the restart saw Roland Everall deemed to have committed an obstruction foul and Harpenden took the lead.
However the game was not over and new-boy Paul kicked up field and chased. He as rewarded by the bounce of the ball but instead of finding touch the ball rolled over the try line. As everyone’s thoughts ‘just touch it down’ Paul picked the ball up, beat a tackler and scored under the posts to seal the victory.