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St Albans Centurions end worst season with Bristol defeat
10:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Local Sport
St Albans Centurions manager Tony Bottomley is already looking ahead to next season after they finished their worst National Conference South campaign with a 30-22 home defeat to Bristol Sonics.
The Cents ended bottom of the table with only three points from a disappointing year.
Coach Andy Champ is leaving this summer to take up a position nearer his Bedfordshire home and Bottomley is already looking ahead to next season.
The Cents manager said: “This was our worst ever season, although if the guys had played like they did today all season we would be in a much higher position in the league than we are now.
“Bristol are a class team, having semi pro and student internationals in their ranks, and they finished second in the league, but today, for large chunks of the game, we played them off the field.
“The only difference was that they capitalised on our mistakes and we didn’t on theirs.
“Our club now needs to sit down and plan for next season. The committee are having a meeting to discuss player recruitment, a new coach and the way forward for 2014.
“I would also like to thank our departing coach Andy Champ for all the work he has put in with the club.”
The Centurions got off to an ideal start at the weekend scoring two tries in the first ten minutes. Hooker George Stevens dived over before their second try came from prop Simba Mupanhanga.
The hosts extended their lead to 16 points when Stevens scored his second try of the game. But Bristol scored twice in quick succession to bring them back into the contest.
The Cents added another score when Joe Shaw finished off an attack but two tries from Bristol meant the hosts only led 22-20 at the break.
Two second-half tries from the Sonics saw the second-placed side run out winners in the final game of the season.
Cents chairman Brian Parker said: “This has not been a good season for us. Three years ago we won the National Championship, but last year we lost eight first team players as well as going into a higher league and that has taken its toll, and I have never known a season like this one for injuries. We were never able to put the same team out for two matches in a row.
“We now have one of the best club houses and stadiums in southern rugby league and we intend to have a great team to match.
“Whilst the players have a well deserved rest, the committee will still be working behind the scenes towards next year and we will be back, bigger and better than this year.”
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