An early Xmas present for the Old Albanians
Old Albanians gave themselves an early Xmas present with this stirring performance which kept pace with high-flying Ampthill. A four to six try effort was enough to gain three valuable league points and put A’s on the long road to National One safety.
As so often this season Albanians started slowly and James Pritchard opened the scoring with a simple penalty eight minutes in. Peter Weightman scythed through after another eight minutes before Tom Bednall opened the OA account with a penalty.
Pritchard then crossed for the visitors, Weightman converting, before opposite winger Nigel Baker touched down. Bednall’s sharp drop goal left the half time score 6-20 and Albanians with much work to do.
Four minutes into the second period Nick Foster signalled his availability wide on the right and Bednall’s cross kick found him perfectly. The fly half added the extras.
Five minutes of mayhem followed as Sean Refell’s try bisected two by Joe Bercis. Sam Lunnon gave OAs renewed hope after great home pressure and Bednall converted before Bercis claimed his hattrick.
A Bednall penalty set the scene for the drama to come as Jack Daly, filling in manfully on the wing, followed a brilliant kick through. Absolute silence turned to bedlam as Bednall’s equalising kick sailed through the uprights.
Let us enjoy the coming break but remember that unbeaten Coventry wait menacingly on the first Saturday of the New Year. That notwithstanding, Albanians are a long way from safety. Hull Ionians and Rosslyn Park are some way in front and each has a game in hand. Still last Saturday’s deserved result will have given great hope to Ross Hamilton’s men and I’m sure all will join this reporter in wishing the OA faithful a great Xmas and New Year.
Press & Publicity
Video of the full match with player interviews and comment. [2hrs 25mins]
🔴 For start of second half scrub forwards to 1:26:10
🔴 For Post Match Interview with Ross Hamilton (OA 1stXV Captain) scrub forwards to 2:17:00
Team SheetThe Ball Boys for today’s game are OA RFC U10’s Squad (click to read more about them)
Match Preview [archive]Xmas is a time of tradition and OA’s are adhering to theirs by having to make up to half a dozen changes to the team to face Ampthill this week. Injury, unavailability and a certain disciplinary matter ensure another changed lineup in this first return match of the season.
Albanians put up a purposeful performance in the encounter in September, going into a fourteen point lead in the first ten minutes. Still ahead at the break it took Ampthill an hour to nudge in front and a four point loss was scant reward for a’s early efforts.
More of the same is required this weekend, albeit with a different result and last week’s battle in Devon will have given great hope in Albanians’ time of need. Much of the Plymouth encounter was at least equal and, as stated previously, nineteen points were scored with Albanians shorn of a player. The past cannot be undone!
To the future! Concentration on discpline is a must but there are plenty of opportunities all over the field for Ross Hamilton’s men to end 2017 on a high. There will be no lack of incentive as we begin the second part of the campaign.
May I wish you all a very happy Xmas and a successful and prosperous new year.
Press & Publicity
|Old Albanian Sports Club, 160 Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6BB, UK|