Hull Ionians — Old Albanians

Hooray!! – First WIN of the season.

The traditional warm welcome at Brantingham Park extended on to the pitch last Saturday as a list of errors and wrong options contrived to ensure Hull Ionians are still in search of their first win this season. Not to be outdone in the benevolence of the day Albanians put together a sizeable number of mistakes which will exercise the coaching team before the visit of Birmingham Moseley next Saturday. The lead in this match changed no less than five times and Ionians just managed to outdo their guests in misplaced kindness.

Well done OA 1stXVs!

Yet Ali Thomson was the first to cross the whitewash as early as the third minute for Greg Lound to add the extras. The OA tight scrum found its feet first with a driving performance which remained stalwart for most of the match but Hull committed the first cardinal error at the end of the opening quarter when centre James Tincknell went to the bin for foul play. Albanian prop Ben Cooper immediately took the extra man advantage powering over close enough to the posts for Dan Watt’s successful conversion.

At this point the penalty count was 6-2 in OA favour and Elliott Obatoyinbo notched the first of a tidy brace with five minutes left in the half. 7-12 to Albanians at the break.

Jacob Heath made OAs pay for missed tackles two minutes after the restart, crossing wide out on the left. Lound converted brilliantly from the touchline and repeated the impressive dose five minutes later from the other side of the pitch after another winger’s try, this time Sam Wilson.

The Albanian penalty count grew gradually and matters looked a tad ominous with an hour gone until Craig Dowsett took a hand, reducing the deficit to just four points showing a clean pair of heels to a floundering defence. Dan Watt gave the visitors their first try bonus point of the year taking advantage of further shortcomings at the back and converted his own try. A’s now had a three point lead with fifteen minutes to go.

This lead evaporated five minutes later when Heath went through a hole not closed quickly enough by his opponents. Lound’s conversion attempt hit the left upright and crucially he also was wide with a penalty attempt in the final stages.

The extended endgame probably summed up this fractured contest. In two minutes of mayhem first Obatoyinbo completed his double, Watt’s conversion attempt going just wide. The Hull restart kick travelled just eight metres forward; yet rather than taking the scrum which would have safely ended the match OAs played the ball which was immediately lost to marauding Ionian attackers. Not to be outdone in generosity somewhat loose possession was handed to Dowsett who didn’t need a second invitation. Nobody had the beating of him in the sixty metres required and Watt’s conversion ended the day.

Personnel changes there certainly were and Head Coach Gavin Hogg will be delighted to gain a first five pointer of the year but will possibly be concerned by the error count. Yet a win is a win and if that can be achieved even when the playing standard leaves a bit to be desired that is positive enough. If there was nothing to work on, the management would have nothing to do!

As stated we welcome Birmingham Moseley to Woollams next Saturday. They are one place above in the League Table and have the same number of points. Ambition will require that they improve on their current status and Albanians will want to drive further up the table achieving a better cushion for the difficult month ahead. It will be a great afternoon!.

Kickoff 15.00hrs.

Brian Quinn
Press & Publicity

Previous Encounters

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Hull Ionians RUFC
Brantingham Park, Brantingham Rd, Elloughton, Brough HU15 1HX

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