Juniors shine in the Hitchin sun as St Albans Centurions claim another win
- Credit: DARRYL BROWN
St Albans Centurions' superb start to the East Rugby League season continued with another victory.
The 40-26 success at North Herts Knights was their third so far this year, following a cup success and one in the league, with this result taking them top of the standings.
With the mercury peaking over 25 degrees, the game was played in four 20 minute segments to allow players to take on water.
Cents continued their policy of playing some of their juniors with Max Robson-Smith, Oakley Rennie-Sivell and Joe Picariello all involved.
And it was the latter who got St Albans off to the perfect start at Hitchin with two tries, one of which was converted for a 10-0 lead inside 10 minutes.
The first water break came and went but when the teams returned for the second quarter it was the Knights who bagged six points.
That was quickly answered a few minutes later by Robson-Smith's 50m sprint over the line to score and Josh Lawrence went over from slightly closer, taking three opposition players with him.
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There was still time for one more Knights try but Cents turned round 20-10 to the good.
The Hitchin side did narrow the gap in the third quarter with two tries wither side of Robson-Smith's second but after determined defence from the Cents, Martin Day and Tom Spratt notably to the fore, Lawrence grabbed his second to make it 32-20 going into the final 20 minutes.
Both teams pulled out all the stops for the fourth quarter, with Cents wingers Kieran O'Shea and Jake Lawrence both coming within inches of scoring.
But although North Herts scored once more, Callum Porter jinked in for a try for St Albans before Max Robson-Smith's hat-trick sealed the win.
Player-coach Porter said: "We seem to be on a roll now. I am really happy with the performance and the three boys from our juniors have fitted in seamlessly.
"Unfortunately we have the next two weekends off with next week our rostered week off while the week after is the Rugby League Challenge Cup when all amateur rugby league is paused."
St Albans go to Brentwood Eels in the East Cup semi-finals on June 4 while their over-35 masters team are next in action at their Toulmin Drive home, taking on a combined Solent Spitfires and Medway Dragons squad in a 2.30pm kick-off.