St Albans notch back-to-back wins ahead of local derby
St Albans will look to revenge their local derby defeat against Harpenden when the two sides meet on Saturday at Boggymead.
The teams met in the second game of the season with Harpenden running out victorious 18-8. However, Jon Chinn’s side have put together back-to-back wins and sit one place ahead of their rivals so they head into Saturday’s grudge match full of confidence.
On Saturday, St Albans pushed aside Hampstead, winning 36-19 thanks to a dominant second half, in which they scored 19 points and conceded just seven.
St Albans kicked off and Hampstead instantly set about their game plan: setting up a pick and go as their forwards marched play into the visitors’ 22. Only a crucial turnover from Dave Mitchell stopped the charge and St Albans looked to counter but a knock on with the line at their mercy halted the Saints’ free-flowing backs.
St Albans opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Tony Stevenson fed Jon Price from a scrum and he burned the defence to touch down. Captain Mark Kentish duly kicked the extras.
Hampstead were soon level, though, as they utilised their big forwards to drive a lineout for a score.
Saints employed the same tactic to restore their lead as Kentish kicked for the corner and John Sayers dotted down.
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Hampstead refused to wilt and drew level before Kentish kicked a penalty to give St Albans a slender advantage.
Stevenson was sin-binned near the end of the half, allowing the hosts to break forward and put real pressure on the Saints’ line but they held firm and a sigh of relief went out when the referee blew for half-time.
Still down to 14, the second period started poorly for St Albans as Hampstead capitalised on the numerical advantage to take a 19-15 lead.
Stevenson returned to the fray and the difference was immediate as Mitch Turner went over following excellent retention of the ball.
With Saints on the front foot, Hampstead imploded, going down to 14 and conceding a break-away try. Brenton Lemierre started the move with a jarring tackle before the forwards and backs combined expertly for Joe Grove to score.
More Hampstead ‘binnings followed before St Albans scored their final try. Again stealing possession in their own half, Martin Alderton kicked forward for Dan Townson to collect in stride and score.