St Albans Centurions end losing run with London Skolars win

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Simon Paige crossed the line for the Cents Simon Paige crossed the line for the Cents

St Albans Centurions ended their losing run with a 24-14 home win over London Skolars A in the London Premier League.

The Cents fieleded a strong squad, despite missing four first team members through injury, and pushed Skolars hard in the early exchanges with some strong running and set completions.

It didn’t take long for the Cents to get the scoreboard ticking over, when less than quarter of an hour into the game, good movement from Nick Woolley, out of position at hooker, created a gap for big prop forward Chris Davies to crash over the line. The try was converted by stand off Lewis Dempsey, one of the three Dempsey brothers in the Cents starting line-up.

From the restart, Skolars started to pile on some pressure of their own but the Cents defence held firm with crucial tackles keeping the opposition out.

After withstanding the brief Skolars onslaught, the Cents then went back to the other end of the field and teenager Dan Tominey scored his first try for the club. Lewis Dempsey again converted to take them into a 12-0 lead.

The Skolars did finally get on the scoresheet just five minutes later when some quick hands sent Nathaniel Turner over in the corner. James Flecther converted to bring the score back to 12-6. Skolars came straight back again with another try from Josh Hooko as he finished a clever move to go over in the corner after a rare lapse in concentration from the Cents. A missed conversion meant the hosts held on to a 12-10 lead at the break.

The Cents dominated at the start of the second half with captain Roy Dube at the heart of their attacks. He was assisted by man-of-the-match Simon Paige and youngster Sam Bucknall as the Cents pack continued to apply the pressure.

The Skolars struck on the break with a well constructed move leading to Cameron Furlong crossing the line which handed the visitors a 14-12 lead.

St Albans came straight back and the onslaught was finally rewarded when prop Chris Davies scored a converted try to edge them back in front.

From the restart, the visitors’ pack attacked the home defence with some big hits, but prop Scott Clelow made a vital tackle which put the hosts back on the front foot.

The Cents dominated the remainder of the game and Simon Paige sealed the points.

After a good break by centre Joe Shaw, the ball was played wide by Nick Woolley and Miles Dempsey before finding Paige who smashed through a tackle to score.

Lewis Dempsey completed a perfect kicking performance as he slotted over the conversion for the victors.

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