Definitely a game of two halves!
Neither club has had a great early season and each came to this contest with seven League points. Again each club boasted one win to date. So essentially neither side had anything to lose.
Initially Albanian supporters would have been pleased with their team’s offering. Dan Watt’s early penalty attempt sailed narrowly wide but his great break allowed Sam Lunnon to break through for the first try which the centre converted.
Despite secure possession for A’s from scrum and lineout Moseley made good ground and Chris Brightwell surged over from the base of the scrum for Sam Hollingsworth to convert. Thus it was at half time.
Whatever was said in the dressing rooms at the interval three minutes into the second half the match had been decided. First Josh Jarvis steamed through a hole in OA defence and then Brightwell scored his second, again from the base of the scrum. Both efforts were converted by Hollingsworth and Moseley were not to look back.
Next Sam Pointon took advantage of missed tackles from half way which try was converted. Moseley bonus point secured. Two unconverted tries followed from Mark Harrison and Andrew Fluker before Albanians regained some form of control. Al Post’s charge was converted by Watt and Sam Lunnon broke three tackles at the death.
The feeling afterwards was that if the squad can perform well for up to an hour the remaining twenty minutes need attention. Head Coach Gavin Hogg was disappointed at a certain defensive frailty and work will be done on this before league leaders Darlington Mowden Park strut their stuff at Woollams next Saturday.
All is not bleak after this undoubted reverse. Tight play remains a strength and speed to and accuracy at the breakdown bodes well for the future. However, at this level, if you give opponents an opportunity they are likely to take it.
Kickoff next week 15.00hrs.
Press & Publicity
Match Preview [Archived]A few short weeks ago this encounter would have seemed a formidable challenge…and it still does! Albanians do not have the best of results against Moseley who have such a proud history and tremendous record at, historically, the top of the English game.
The National One League has a habit of turning history on its head, however, and if you had told an OA supporter, even ten years ago,that his side would be facing the likes of Coventry, Fylde, Rosslyn Park and next Saturday’s opponents, you would likely have been treated to, at least, a modicum of derision.
But it has come to pass! Hertfordshire, one time Rugby backwater, now shares the field with those bastions of the game…and does so on merit!
Our visitors have a very similar playing record to us this season and each club has seven league points thus far. Both protagonists will want a result next Saturday but probably for different reasons. Birmingham Moseley will be wanting to know what, if anything, has gone wrong with their season to date and, for sure, will want to improve their League position. If no other impetus can be found, pride will suffice. Dangerous opponents indeed!
Pride also forms much of the Albanian makeup. OAs have gently improved since the start of September and last week’s victory against a somewhat troubled Hull Ionians will have been warmly welcomed in the ranks. Personnel changes will happen week on week but so long as the squad has a powerful set of guidelines, dutifully applied, confidence will grow in this young side.
The Albanian tight game seems to have little to fear; Coventry bear witness to that! The intention is to bring about almost a Nelsonian “pell mell battle” across the field and in broken play so opponents are unsure where the next threat comes from. Speed to, and at, the breakdown, and then ultimate precision in operation will ensure a wily backline can find gaps in the opposing line. It is then a matter of repetition. Easier said than done…but that’s the plan!
It will be a great afternoon!
Press & Publicity
16 Alex Post
17 Taylor Reed
18 Allan Whittaker
19 Ross Parsons
20 Sean Raffel
21 Greg White
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|Old Albanian Sports Club, 160 Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6BB, UK|