Saints second string triumph in extra-time
St Albans II 31 Harpenden II 27
ST ALBANS booked their place in the Plate Final after their semi-final match with Harpenden went to extra time.
In the absence of injured captain Paul Randall, Mark Davis led the Saints and the Boys from Boggymead were dominant in the scrums throughout the game. Despite this Harpenden forced themselves back into to the match throughout.
James Dicker opened the scoring as the ball was hooked against the head and then went smartly through the hands. Hesh Puri was next to score and the St Albans team could feel the momentum building. Several times the Saints went close before Doug Morete bashed his way over. The pick and goes, especially from flankers Fraser Morris and Duncan Sharp, saw the Saints make great in roads up the park.
With the score at half time 17-0 in Saints’ favour the Boggymead side were guilty of letting Harpenden back in the game. The scrum that had worked so well was unable to convert its dominance into points and a string of scrums were wasted on the Harpenden five-yard line. Harpenden took their chances and levelled the scores, using rolling mauls to gain ground and their jinky backs to exploit gaps in the Saints’ defence.
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With the scores locked at 17-17 at full-time extra time was required. This took the form of two 10 minutes halves and St Albans scored two tries through Ian Cutts.
Dave Watkins was able to convert both securing points that would be crucial in the final outcome.
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At 31-17 up with just 10 minutes to go St Albans nearly let it slip for a second time.
Harpenden sat on the St Albans line for most of those 10 minutes and got two scores of their own. Unfortunately for Harpenden their kicker missed both his attempts handing St Albans a place in the Plate Final.