Lockdown can’t shake the feeling as St Albans bask in the warm glow of successful year

St Albans V Hendon - Sam Howell in action for St Albans.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

St Albans V Hendon - Sam Howell in action for St Albans. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

St Albans Rugby Club are confident they can see out the coronavirus lockdown and still have the warm glow of a very successful season to help through the tough times.

St Albans V Hendon - Liam Rogers in action for St Albans. Picture: Karyn Haddon

St Albans V Hendon - Liam Rogers in action for St Albans. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

The Oaklands Lane-based club have bucked the trend of others by running three senior teams over the season.

Promotion for their first-team from Herts Middlesex One behind Hendon was confirmed after the RFU applied a “best playing record formula”.

All of that makes Boggymead a very happy place to be according to chairman John Martin.

He said: “Everything is OK. We are solvent and got enough in the bank at the moment as the only outgoings are utility bills.

“Our subscriptions work on £20 a month so a lot of those are still coming in.

“I am thinking of getting one of these small business grants because May and the rest of the summer are good earners for us as we do car-boot sales.

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“Our site is also shared by Harvesters Football Club and in May they host the Watford League finals across two Sundays where we do the catering and the bar.

“There are a few things where we make money during the summer but it depends on how long this goes on.

“We had four games left which would have helped, the first of which was a big game against Barnet Elizabethans in the league, who were third to our second, and we had a lunch planned.

“We were also due to play Verulamians in the penultimate game so we’ve missed out on that as well.

“But we did get promoted so we can’t really complain.

“I think we would have won that Barnet game anyway because we would have had our best side out but you never know.

“Our second team was unbeaten all season and the thirds fulfilled all their fixtures and there’s a good buzz about the club.”

He believes that part of the success on and off the field came down to fruitful partnership with the University of Hertfordshire.

He said: “We’ve had four or five playing in the first team at various times with two or three regulars.

“We’ve been hosting university games at the club, both the men and women as they don’t have a bar at the minute.

“In fact the last day before the lockdown there was a university returners game where old players played the current teams.

“There was a lot going on at the club that day which helped us.”

The players too have had a virtual awards night with the player of the year awards across the three teams going to Sam Howell, Chris Jones and James Tyreman.

Charles Woollard was coach’s player for the firsts while the student player was Sydney Noad.

Most improved for the three teams was Adam Power, Isaac Lee and Paul Coffey and the top try-scorers were Fraser Morris, Roy Dube and John Sayers and Jude Evans.

The club’s designated charity for the season is the East & North Herts Hospitals’ and donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stalbansrfc

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