Six-try Saints back up to third
London North West Three St Albans 37 London Nigerians 20 ST ALBANS moved back into third place in the league with a fine win over London Nigerians on Saturday. Although St Albans were generally the better side it was only in the last 20 minutes that the
London North West Three
St Albans 37 London Nigerians 20
ST ALBANS moved back into third place in the league with a fine win over London Nigerians on Saturday.
Although St Albans were generally the better side it was only in the last 20 minutes that their greater threat was rewarded fully as they moved clear of the visitors. However, a try count of six to three was a fair reflection of the play.
Saints started in determined mood and were soon applying pressure on the visitors' defence opening the scoring on 13 minutes. St Albans won possession from a scrum in midfield and quickly transferred possession to the wing. Ed Coy chipped ahead and the ball appeared to be harmlessly rolling into touch and everyone, bar Coy, had given it up. But rugby balls do strange things and inches from the touch line it turned 180 degrees into Coy's hands and he scored in the corner. The conversion was missed, but five minutes later Saints extended their lead when James Dickinson burst through some flimsy tackles to score by the posts with Mark Kentish converting.
The supporters started to think about a significant win, especially as St Albans continued to cut the Nigerians' defence apart, but somehow the points would not come.
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Encouraged by Saints inability to extend their lead, London Nigerians came more into the game. They tried to play an expansive game and had some quick runners who troubled the Saints defence. They reduced the arrears with a penalty and before half time had overhauled St Albans lead with two well worked tries, one of which was converted to give the visitors a 15-12 advantage.
Nigerians threw everything into the first five minutes of the second half. However, it was St Albans who scored next when a well rehearsed back move split the defence and Kentish was put clear to score a try which unfortunately he was unable to convert.
Two minutes later he had another chance to extend the lead with a penalty and this time he made no mistake.
Once again Nigerians rallied and using the pace of their three quarter line scored another good try to level the scores.
St Albans captain Brent Green rallied the troops as the prospect of losing a game they had largely dominated seemed possible. From this point onwards the home side's dominance was complete.
First Dave Callum put the finishing touches to a fine forward drive, then Kentish added his second and finally Brenton Lemiere, who had another impressive game, stormed over the line for the final try. Mark Kentish added another conversion to complete the scoring.
St Albans thoroughly deserved this win, although lapses in concentration could have cost them dear.
The forwards played well and the back row worked tirelessly. Wing forward Craig Huddleston was named Man of the Match for what was probably his best first team performance.
Next week St Albans travel to Finchley.