St Albans Centurions cruise into semi-final of league cup with big derby victory
- Credit: DARRYL BROWN
St Albans Centurions made it two wins from two against neighbours Hemel Stags this season - with this one having the added bonus of propelling them into the East Rugby League Cup semi-final.
The 50-18 success saw Cents field something approaching their strongest team with the forwards especially showing impressive menace.
An early injury did not do Hemel any favours but Cents were in majestic form.
The first to score was Peter Wampamba who shimmied and side-stepped his way through the defence from 30 metres, Harry Mack kicking the conversion.
Stags responded superbly though and were level instantly but this just spurred Cents on even more.
They had another four tries by half-time with the last 10 minutes of the half being one-way traffic towards the Hemel posts.
Scott Clewlow got the first of them, unstoppable from 20 metres out, and Will Curtis, Wampamba again and the tireless Josh Lawrence went in before the break for a 22-6 lead.
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By the time the second half began, Hemel had used all their three substitutes because of more injuries but the wounded Stags came out in frenzy.
They bagged a converted try almost from the kick-off and had another five minutes later to make the score a worrying 22-18.
But slowly the Cents came out of the mid-break slumber with the forwards crashing forwards.
And when the ball was whipped out wide, St Albans had the pace of Adam Jasinski and Will Curtis, both of whom scored, while Lawrence got another two to seal his hat-trick and Wampamba's double took his tally to four.
Player coach Joe Shaw said: "We worked very well together. We have big forwards who won't take a backwards step and backs who won't stop running at you, with half-backs that gel both groups together.
"I'm very pleased to win against the old rivals but even more pleased in the way we did it".
The two teams meet for a third time in the league at Hemel on Saturday.
St Albans Centurions Masters will be in Gillingham for a game against Medway Dragons that day and are looking for more grizzled gladiators to join their cohort.
Head centurion Mick O'Shea said: "At our final training run we had the makings of a good team, lots of laughs and some rugby too.
"I'll bring the green kit, all you need is the appropriate shorts for your ability. No shorts, No play."
Those available to travel should confirm their place with Mick by calling 07989 898 842. All new players are welcome.