Powdrell hat-trick impresses but Cents left grasping at thin air by slippery Eels

Luke Powdrell scored a hat-trick for St Albans Centurions against Brentwood Eels. Picture: Darryl Br

Luke Powdrell scored a hat-trick for St Albans Centurions against Brentwood Eels. Picture: Darryl Brown - Credit: Archant

Alex Powdrell’s impressive hat-trick proved to be in vain as St Albans Centurions were left to rue a slow start away to Brentwood Eels.

The hosts produced a blistering start on another red-hot match day which left the Cents trailing 18-4 at half-time and all but out of it.

A great second-half fightback followed but not enough to achieve the victory needed for a place in the play-offs as they slipped to a 36-24 loss.

On a lightning quick pitch as hard as concrete, the Centurions fell behind in the first minute and even further behind eight minutes later.

The Eels were proving as elusive and slippery as their name although a short-range dive over the line from the ever-impressive Powdrell reduced the arrears.

The respite was only temporary though and Brentwood were in command by the break.

But Saints still had hope and with the marked slope in their favour, they responded.

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Josh Lawrence smashed through the home defence and Powdrell added the conversion.

The teenager dived over again for his second of the match but both teams knew the next try would be the critical one.

And despite St Albans being camped on the Brentwood line for what seemed like an age, the home side grabbed it after a length of the field breakaway.

Both sides exchanged two more tries before the final whistle, including a richly deserved hat-trick for man-of-the-match Powdrell.

But despite edging the second-half the first 40 minutes had cost St Albans dear and although the reverse was a frustrating result but a fair one.

Captain Joe Baker was as positive as ever though.

“Once again, there were some great performances, particularly from Alex and also new-boy Kristin Naylor who ran his heart out,” said the skipper.

“We let ourselves down at key times today especially close to their line and with kicks to touch, but the second-half fightback emphasises just how much spirit this team has.

“Whilst we’ve missed out on the play-offs, we’ll still be giving everything we’ve got until the end of the season.”