St Albans 17–31 Stevenage Town
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage Town beat St Albans 31-17 in the London and South East Division 3 North West at the weekend.
Stevenage won this match in the first twenty minutes scoring three early tries and racing into a 17–3 lead with the solitary St Albans response being a penalty in the 10th minute.
The bonus point win keeps Stevenage in fourth place in the league and only six points behind the leaders, Grasshoppers.
Town put in an electric opening twenty minutes with some slick handling and excellent choice of running lines, which had the hosts on the back foot for much of the first quarter of the match.
George Turvey opened the scoring in the 2nd minute as he clinically finished off a move started by Ian Crompton and taken on by Michael Wilson.
The only blip for Stevenage in those opening minutes came when St Albans fly half Harry Trude kicked a penalty when Stevenage were caught offside and then failed to retreat ten metres, making the penalty more kickable.
Five minutes later, as Town’s dominance increased they extended the lead with fly half Adrian Curry charging over from close range. This was a just reward for Curry who has brought a commanding presence to the back line since his return from injury. Andrew Malins added the conversion.
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Such was the Stevenage pressure, St Albans were finding it difficult to clear their lines and gain any respite from wave after wave of attack. From an attempted clearance, Wilson gathered the ball and embarked on a sixty metre run before Town recycled the ball wide to the right and Alex Banna added the third try.
Although Stevenage were unable to maintain the momentum, they were able to add a bonus point try before half time, shortly after St Albans’ Daniel Townson had been sent to the bin for killing the ball at a ruck.
It was scrum half Malins who started the move with one of a number of accurate box kicks he put in throughout the match. The alighting ball bounced kindly and was taken by Vinnie Kevans, who was able to put away his centre partner, Crompton into space for him to complete the try under the posts. Malins added the conversion to give Stevenage a 24 – 3 lead at half time.
The second half was a much more evenly matched encounter and St Albans fought back well scoring two tries of their own, however not before Town had added their fifth try.
In the 51st minute, the St Albans defence was up too quick when defending a scrum and Malins broke the gain line and found Banna in support, who finished the try from thirty metres. Malins again added the conversion.
That was the end of the Stevenage scoring for the afternoon and St Albans took full advantage as they responded by exerting pressure themselves on the Stevenage defence.
They were duly rewarded in the 58th minute with a well-worked try from Marcus Shaw and with the final play of the match, replacement John Sayers charged over under the posts to make the final score 17–31.
There is no league match for Stevenage next week and that is then followed up with two consecutive home matches against firstly Old Streetonians and then local rivals Hitchin on 16 December.
Stevenage Town: Michael Wilson, Alex Banna, Ian Crompton, Vinny Kevans, George Turvey, Adrian Curry (Chris McGrath 63 mins), Andrew Malins, Reece Crucefix, Darren Outram (Barry Cook 45 mins), David Bamber, Conor Mitchell (Phil Pearson 53 mins), Adam Amos (Conor Mitchell 77 mins), Ben Hodge, Wes Moore, Scott Quarmby
Subs not used: None
Tries: George Turvey, Adrian Curry, Alex Banna, Ian Crompton,
Conversions: Andrew Malins (3)