Two wins on the bounce have sent Old Albanian into the Christmas break feeling very pleased with themselves.

Both have come on the road in National Two East, the latest a 27-24 success at Henley which lifts them into eighth.

Ben Alexander gave them a perfect start inside the opening minute, peeling off the back of a driving maul, with Sam Jones landing the conversion.

But by the time he had kicked two penalties, Henley had replied with two tries of their own, one of them converted.

However, a superb solo try right at the very end of the half by Harrison Legg, converted by Jones again, gave OAs a 20-12 lead at the break.

The hosts pulled the gap back to three with a try by Thomas Emery on 48 minutes but they then lost two men to the sin-bin within moments of each other.

It allowed a converted score following a great break from Bailey Thomas to be the match winner for Albanian, meaning a home score seven minutes from time merely set up a nervy finish.

And the visitors did enough to force a late fumble and claim the victory.

A second straight defeat and third game without a win saw Harpenden slump to fourth in Regional One South East.

They were beaten 29-20 away to Letchworth who had started the day just one position behind them.


The home side opened the scoring first, a penalty slotted by Josh Sharp on seven minutes, but they then had to spend 10 minutes a man down with a yellow card to Charlie Parkhouse.

But the first try belonged to Letchworth, Kaz Henderson going over in the corner, although that was partly cancelled almost immediately with a penalty from Tom Sweeney in front of the posts.

That 8-3 half-time lead became 15-3 when Parkhouse powered away early in the second half, Sharp converting, but another three from Sweeney kept Harpenden in the contest.

Again though, they couldn't back it up and LGC went further clear with a third try, scored by Tom Lewis to the right of the posts.

The introduction of Dominic Ashwell on the left wing at last gave Harpenden a potent threat and it was no surprise when a Letchworth pass went to ground in their own half, it was he who benefitted, the try superbly converted by Sweeney.

A penalty try eventually put Letchworth out of reach but the final action belonged to Harpenden as Barnaby Merrett crossed to give them seven points, with only dogged defending preventing them scoring in the closing stages.

Verulamians end 2023 on top of Counties Three Herts Middlesex after a 60-25 win away to Berkhamsted.

The final game of phase one is on January 6 at home to third-placed Chess Valley.

Neither St Albans nor Tabard were in action with their next matches in Counties Two coming on January 13.

An annual charity rugby game is back at Verulamians on December 30.

It will see home side Vees take on the rest of the world in a 1pm kick-off at the club's base in Cotlandswick.

This year's charity partners is Team George with previous organisations to benefit including Youth Talk, Help For Heroes, The Ollie Foundation, RFU Injured Players Fund and Bowel Cancer UK.

Mick O'Shea said: "All monies collected have made a huge difference to the recipients.

"But for us players, being a part of the larger, local rugby community really is its own reward.

"Getting to play alongside your rivals that you've spent many seasons trying to beat, and beat up, focuses your own game and you get to show off what makes your own club so great.

"Then it's beers and outrageous boasting."