St. Albans struggle as injuries take their toll!
By Terry Evans
Hendon take full advantage of depleted Saints. Match report by Dave English.
St Albans travelled to 4th place Hendon on Saturday more in hope than expectation with 11 enforced changes from the previous weeks and no replacements on the bench due to an important 2nd team fixture where a win would enhance their promotion possibilities. (A decision vindicated as 2nds won 19 - 33 away at Finsbury Park).
The St Albans side initially acquitted themselves well keeping the score down to a Hendon penalty after 20 mins and on several occasions coming close to scoring a try. However, with influential back row player Sean Rafter having to leave the field after 15 mins and St Albans down to 14 Hendon took advantage and went into half time 20 - 0 up.
Despite a dogged St Albans defence, Hendon continued to press hard and with the further loss of hooker Harry Atherton 15 mins into the second half and Jacob Swain (centre playing scrum half) 10 minutes later St Albans were reduced to 13 and then 12 players opening the inevitable flood gates.
Despite the significant disadvantage and a 60 point deficit, St Albans scored a converted try in the last 5 mins with a darting run from half way by man of the match Godson Saado who was outstanding throughout both in defence, and where opportunities arose, in attack.
Mention should also be made to Craig Huddleston (back row veteran) who came out of retirement to play at No 10!
Despite the score line a very gutsy and brave performance from a St Albans side who put bodies on the line for each other and the club on a difficult afternoon.
St Albans host Saracens Amateurs next weekend with the game preceded by a Club lunch.