St Albans edge local rivals Harpenden

Action from St Albans RFC 15-8 win over Harpenden.

Action from St Albans RFC 15-8 win over Harpenden. - Credit: Archant

ST ALBANS leapfrogged local rivals Harpenden into seventh place in the league with a hard-fought, low scoring win at St George’s School on Saturday.

Tries from James Ford and Fraser Morris set up St Albans’ win in a match that epitomized a local rivalry.

Harpenden came out 16-11 victors in the last meeting of the teams but quickly found St Albans’ defence was more organized this time round.

Both sides were struggling to find a footing in the scrums and line-outs on a muddy pitch but it was the visitors who opened the scoring. Ford reacted quickly to charge down a clearance near Harpenden’s 22 before collecting the ball and touching down under the posts. Mark Kentish duly converted.

But St Albans let Harpenden back in to the game when their first of three players was sin-binned, allowing Jack Haddock to kick the ensuing penalty.

Harpenden could not make the numerical advantage count though. Good moves from Joe Tennant and Tom Muskett could have resulted in tries but St Albans’ defensive line refused to yield.

And they managed to build on the lead, Kentish successful kicking for the posts after a Harpenden infringement.

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St Albans added another five points following the restart, second row Fraser Morris claiming the try after a driving line-out.

Harpenden did respond through Tennant, linking up with Chris Wilkinson to reduce the gap to 15-8. They even had the chance to draw the game. Wing Tom Muskett almost chased down a booming Muskett clearance but St Albans’ coverage just won the foot-race to ground the ball.

Harpenden welcome Hammersmith and Fulham on Saturday while St Albans host London Nigerians.