All in the detail for James Shanahan after narrow loss for OAs to Plymouth

James Shanahan was both proud and frustrated as OAs narrowly lost to Plymouth Albion. Picture: DANNY

James Shanahan was both proud and frustrated as OAs narrowly lost to Plymouth Albion. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

A narrow defeat to fomer club Plymouth Albion was enough to give Old Albanian player-coach James Shanahan a sense of frustration as well as pride.

The 18-13 loss was only decided inside the final 10 minutes, leaving OAs with nothing but a losing bonus point.

“It is always a matter of detail,” said Shanahan, who because of the lengthy injury list recalled himself to the line-up.

“We gave them a soft try which proved the difference between us. Having said that, if we perform like that every week we have little to fear in this league.

The defeat goes some way to encapsulating how the Albanian squad has developed over the first half of the season.

“The match was lost narrowly and that is a difficult pill to swallow, said the coach. “It could just as easily have been won and that’s the frustrating part.

“We have talent aplenty and we are not in this league just to make up the numbers. We are here to make a serious contribution and many of our losses this year have occurred because a small detail has gone against us, a missed tackle, a fumbled pass or a knock-on.

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“Yet the harder we work in practice the less likely these errors are to affect us.”

The coach has now set his players a target for the remainder of the season. While ninth in their the first season back in National One may be a good return, Shanahan points out that only one win has come against the sides above them.

“We must change this,” he said. “We have five more opportunities to defeat teams in higher league positions by the end of the season and we must apply ourselves to attaining this goal.”

There have been noteable achievements this season, not the least of which has been the maintaining of a mid league position with, at one time, over half the squad out injured. There is plenty to be optimistic about but, as indicated by Shanahan, it’s all in the detail.