St Albans set free by Cheshunt who keep them hanging on
- Credit: Archant
St Albans were left grateful for the final whistle as they held on to a 30-27 win over Cheshunt in London North West Three.
For the most part of this game the Oaklands Lane-based rugby club were dominating, picking up a try bonus point as they raced to a 30-12 lead.
However three tries in the last 15 minutes for the visitors to Boggymead made the score a lot closer than it should have been.
They were helped by two yellow cards for the hosts but had it not been for missed conversions it could have been worse.
St Albans skipper Brenton Lemiere said: “I think we just took our foot off the gas at the end.
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“Credit to them they rallied. We lost a few players and they came back.”
And the front-row believes this second win of the year could signal an upturn in fortunes.
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“We started to click a bit there,” he added. “We got a little bit disjointed with the changes but a couple of the guys who came on made a big difference as well.
“We just need to come together as a team more and get a bit more consistency in team selection. We’ve used a lot of players this year.
“I feel like we’re at a turning point now. We’ve got a lot more players available and we can’t be unhappy with a bonus point win.”
Cheshunt had the better start and got the opening score moments after being held-up across the line.
But from then on St Albans stepped up a gear.
A wonderful kick to the corner from Nick Woolley gave Nathan Symes a try and the full-back streaked through a gap for a second later in the half.
And they grabbed a third before the break.
Joe Shaw’s quick-thinking saw he take a tap penalty and pop the ball up to Sam Millicheap for a 17-7 half-time advantage.
But as they had in the first, Cheshunt made a bright start to the second period and were in for an unconverted try four minutes in.
Woolley landed a penalty to push Saints lead out to eight and they were celebrating a bonus point when Mike Bennet crashed over.
Cheshunt had been reduced to 14 prior to that score and were still short-handed when Oliver Fountain ran in another quickly-taken tap-penalty.
With a 30-12 lead, it looked as though Saints would comfortably close out the game. A yellow to Woolley for a high tackle threatened to change that.
Cheshunt used their numerical superiority to find space out wide for a try, a move which saw Shaw also take a 10-minute rest for a high tackle.
They crossed again and grabbed their fifth try after Woolley had returned.
Fortunately none of the tries were converted and St Albans hung on for the win.
They now sit in seventh with a trip to bottom side Staines on Saturday.