Rosslyn Park — Old Albanians

Brave but forlorn final effort from Gallant OAs

Those of a choleric disposition may have come to the conclusion that last Saturday’s result, the last action of a disjointed campaign, was almost as bad as the reverse fixture in September last. Apart from stating the numerical obvious, that summation would ignore the brave efforts of a squad which has been forced to use nearly seventy players during the Season.

This column has stated time and again that modern rugby, at nearly every level, is built on specifics. It is imperative for a management team to be certain that at least a core of senior, experienced players will be able to take the field week in, week out. This gives continuity and confidence and it is what has been denied to the Albanian outfit all year. In these circumstances the wonder is that OAs performed as well as they did in trying times.

All of the above ignores the fact that injuries are going to occur in this most abrasive of contests and, like all other clubs in this division, A’s have come in for what seems like more than their fair share of these debilitating absences.

Saturday’s contest, as such, lasted until the end of the first quarter. Yet half way through this period, Albanians had the temerity to lead, Sam Lunnon’s muscular drive cancelling out Ali Wade’s pushover and Tom Bednall’s great conversion adding the extras.

All started to come apart when Alex Post was yellow carded and Charlie Hughes followed him to the bench minutes later. It is difficult to compete when you’re two men down and by half time the score was 36-7 with no way back for the visitors.

In an increasingly fraught second half spirited defence limited the hosts to three tries. Jack Daly was denied through no fault of his own but Ollie Morris added a second try after good approach work. Morgan Thompson struck Albanians last points of the season.

Players and supporters were of one mind that the rebuilding starts now in preparation for National Two South and it seems that despite the relegation pretty much the entire squad will be available for action next September.

This reporter would like to thank all who have supported a gallant players’ effort and the start of the next campaign is eagerly awaited.

Brian Quinn
Press & Publicity

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