Black Horse Win Against Valiant 14 Men St Albans
By Tony Bolger
Horse come through poor conditions to win convincing in the end
After a weeks rest the Horse were back in action, away against St Albans on a boggy, muddy and wet pitch. St Albans started the game with 14 men, including Michael Francis propping, to ensure the game had contested scrums and went behind after only a couple of minutes. The ball was moved through the hands out to Mark Livesey who went over to score in his first game since October. It looked like the Horse could overrun the opposition but it was St Albans who scored next. St Albans spread the ball well and their winger scored the try, to leave the game 7-5 after only 5 minutes.
This try rattled the Horse and it didn't take long for them to extend their lead. Another good set of hands through the backs saw the ball reach Dan Astarita on the wing and he scored the try to put the Horse 14-5 up. The next 5 minutes saw St Albans camped in the Black Horse half but after numerous attempts they could not get a second try. The Horse eventually got the ball up the field and a quick break from Jonny Pearson, on his debut at number 9, took them close to the try line. Unfortunately the tackle on Jonny and the muddy conditions lead to a serious injury for the number 9 and the game had to moved to another pitch for the 3rd time in 4 games.
The Horse reorganised and spent the last 11 minutes of the half attacking the St Albans try line. During one attack a bad landing for a St Albans player saw them reduced to 13 men (14 if you include Michael Fignon) and eventually the Horse got a third try. Mark Livesey powered through a number of defenders to get his second try of the game and Richard Hope converted to send the Horse in 21-5 at half time.
The second half was spent almost entirely in the St Albans half but the Horse only managed to score another three tries. The first was scored by Chris Ellmore, a great pick up and powerful run from the flanker. The second came after what felt like ten minutes of scrummaging on the 5m line. The ball went back and forth between the Horse and St Albans and when St Albans cleared their lines the ball landed in Mark Livesey's hands for him to complete his hattrick. The third try of the half was a Tony combination, Tony Bolger running on the blind side and Tony Cliffe finishing the move off.
The game ended 38-5 to the Black Horse, a valiant effort from St Albans with 13/14 men and a couple of Horse players playing for them. The Horse march on to Southgate at home next week, looking to keep moving up the league. Finally, get well soon Jonny Pearson. We look forward to you returning and completing 80 minutes next time
MOM - Michael Francis - For being an absolute legend and playing prop against the Horse so that we could have contested scrums
WOM - Jonny Pearson - For not completing his debut game due to a dislocated and potentially fractured knee cap