St Albans edged out in Northwood thriller
- Credit: Archant
St Albans Rugby Club were just edged out in a see-saw match at Old Merchant Taylors’ losing 38-35.
Saints started the game with plenty of pace and immediately looked dangerous with aggressive attacking play and a desire to assert themselves.
This was rewarded with a couple of early penalties that Nick Woolley narrowly failed to convert.
However, they did take the lead when full-back Sam Millicheap finished off a flowing move with a fine run, Woolley securing the conversion.
St Albans then totally lost the initiative and allowed the home side back into the game with costly basic mistakes. And it wasn’t long before they had racked up three converted tries without response.
The visitors looked shell-shocked and desperately sort to regain their earlier composure. Ball retention and support play helped but OMT’s always posed a threat with their fly-half and play-maker testing Saint’s defence with intelligent kicking.
Saints did add a further Alex Sharpe try after determined work involving the forwards with Mike Bennet, Jack Middleton and Sam Lowery making important contributions.
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However, every time the visitors looked as if they could regain the initiative OMT’s countered and added to St. Albans frustration.
This frustration resulted in Saints winger, Ollie Fountain, being dismissed from the field following a verbal transgression with the referee.
Despite now being reduced to 14 players the visitors seemed inspired not to capitulate and became resolute in their play, this then culminated in OMT’s losing a player to a yellow card for constant off-side infringements.
St. Albans added to their try tally with scores from Sharpe, David Jones and Millicheap and with five minutes remaining, they edged in front with a Woolley conversion.
OMT’s to their credit were not going to let this game slip from their grasp and in the dying minutes secured a sixth try that gave them the winning points.
St Albans entertain Grasshoppers at Boggymead on Saturday.