Old Albanians vs Blackheath


Team Instability continues to haunt stalwart OA Squad

Β This week once more Albanians inability to field a stable team for more than perhaps a fortnight came back to haunt them and a six try hammering was the result. Too often it was apparent that OAs could not muster a concerted attack especially out wide though nobody could fault the efforts of all squad members.

Interestingly it all started rather well and early Albanian pressure forced Blackheath into enough mistakes to ensure James Shanahan’s smile was not in evidence. OA fly half Tom Bednall’s first minute penalty attempt was a laboured effort which achieved neither distance nor direction. Yet his team persevered and his second kick flew straight and true with six minutes gone.

At this stage A’s were almost monopolising possession and position and yet the Blackheath defence held steady. There seemed no way through for the hosts. Even though Club lost four of their own linesout and were penalised for not straight at another this extra sourceΒ  of possession was not enough for Albanians to breach the visitors’ lines.

It is a fact that if you gain a strong foothold in opposition territory it is imperative that you come away with points. If you fail to do this it simply gives heart to the other side and this is what happened after the first half hour.

Blackheath finally took charge when Alex Pickersgill crossed in the thirty third minute. He was followed shortly after by the other wing Jake Lloyd and fly half Joe Tarrant. A’s were lucky Tarrant left his kicking boots at home because he was successful with just one out of what turned out to be five attempts. Half time score 3-15.

There was a peculiar symmetry to each half since Albanians opened the second period with Another Bednall penalty. Club then helped themselves to three more tries, Tarrant again, Harry Bate and Geoff Griffiths. Bate’s try was the one converted.

If there is a positive to be gained for OAs from this result it is that it could have been far worse. Defence, precision and forward aggression were better than of late. But there is much to do.

OAs are at Esher next week looking to achieve what would be their second double of this season. Kickoff 15.00hrs.

Brian Quinn
Press & Publicity

Match Gallery

Danny Martindale
Guest Photographer

Enjoy a full day out!

Members Lunch and M&J BBQ

Our home match v Blackheath on Saturday 3rd February k.o.3:00pm at Woollams is both occasion of the Minis & Juniors lunch co-chaired by Mike Fisher and Ian Tomlins and an β€˜all welcome’ members lunch in the Cricket Bar.

We hope to see as many of the M&J fraternity as possible – remember all card-carrying M&J parents do not pay admission to the National League 1 match.

We also welcome a number of recent renowned former OA players & members both for the lunch, and the game itself, including Chris Lombaard, Dom Regan, James Ellershaw, Chris May, Laurence White, Mark Combe and Ollie Cooper-Miller and of course former Head Coach James Shanahan, Stephen & Christine Shires, Matt Miles, Harry Bate and Hayden King.

It will be great to see you all back at Woollams, we look forward to catching up and hope you enjoy your day!

Paul Richardson
OA Club President

Match Preview

Old friends are coming! James Shanahan brings his Blackheath charges to Woollams on Saturday surely looking to dampen Albanian hopes of a resurgence.

The most interesting statistics this season are to do with Hull Ionians who have twice been put to the sword by OAs. Yet a scant week after Club clubbered mighty Coventry, the Yorkshiremen inflicted a most painful defeat on the Londoners. What are we to make of this?

Well, a wise man once said β€œThere are lies, Damned lies and statistics!” He must have been a Rugby nut and I wonder who he supported!

On Saturday anything can and could happen which is one of the things which makes this League such a delightful place to be! The last time Blackheath visited Hertfordshire they returned with their tails firmly ensconced between their collective legs.

Can we foretell a repeat? Certainly not, (and definitely not if Matt Miles and Harry Bate have anything to do with matters). But it’s the possibilities which make this clash so intriguing.

Those of you with a betting persuasion might win a fortune on this one result; but it can’t be called for you!

Quite simply Albanians now have to start winning to survive. It might as well be against the second oldest club in the world!

Brain Quinn
Press & Publicity

Previous Encounters


Woollams Pavilion
Old Albanian Sports Club, 160 Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6BB, UK

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