Bramley Buffaloes Vs St. Albans Centurions - Bramley Buffaloes

  • National League Three
  • 03/07/2004
  • 14:30

The Buffaloes stampeded to their sixth win of the season against a tough St Albans outfit who made life difficult for the hosts from the start.

In front of an encouraging crowd of 470 at Bramley Phoenix RUFC it was Steven Gill who clinched victory with a second-half brace and a personal points haul of 10.

An exciting see-saw affair swung into life on 17 minutes as St Albans drew first blood thanks to a fine breakaway try from winger Luke Baxter.

Aaron Kwong converted for the Hertfordshire side but Bramley hit straight back with Scott Pendlebury going close in the corner before Simon Bowker scooted over under pressure on 23 minutes. Second rower Chris Gardner kicked the conversion to level matters.

Bramley continued to exert the pressure but St Albans moved ahead on 34 minutes when centre Matt Thomas, impressive throughout, drew the defence before stretching his legs to go over. Kwong’s kick made it 12-6 to the visitors.

Just before half-time it was powerhouse Aussie prop Tim Orr who notched his second Buffaloes’ try of the season when he rampaged through from 15 yards to touch down under the posts. Gill’s crucial conversion made it all square at the break.

The second half was barely five minutes old when it was Gill again who notched the points after finishing off a flowing cross-field three-quarter move.

The effervescent Neil Foulds, who was outstanding throughout thanks to his elusive lines of running and vigorous defence, moved Bramley further ahead on 52 minutes when he collected an up and under to touch down.

The Buffaloes looked in charge at 20-12 but they didn’t reckon on the Centurions’ plucky resilience as Matt Thomas went over in the corner on 69 minutes rewarding an excellently crafted 40-20 kick from St Albans.

That reduced the deficit to just four points and once again the loyal Buffaloes support were subjected to a nail-biting finale.

It was left to Gill to seal victory on 79 minutes with his fifth try of the season finishing off some more impressive approach play from the hosts.

‘This was a real stern test for us and I’m very pleased we’ve come through with the points,’ exclaimed Bramley coach Phil Hellewell after his side’s third win of the season.

‘The lads are gelling as a unit and we saw evidence of that today in the way that we fought back after quickly going behind.

‘The spirit is fantastic at the moment and a win like this lifts everyone although I was impressed with St Albans. They are a neat outfit that really made a game of it this afternoon and it’s too our credit that we grabbed the points.

‘We have positives all over the park with Neil Foulds playing superbly once again and Steven Gill showing his class. There was nobody I could fault out there!

‘Another exciting development is the level of vocal support we are getting and the whole squad is enjoying playing in front of such knowledgable rugby league fans.

‘It makes the whole experience so much more rewarding knowing the interest there is in the club,’ added Phil who takes his Buffaloes side to Birmingham Bulldogs next Saturday for an intriguing tussle with the second city side.