Frustration for Old Albanian in pre-season defeat

OAs in pre-season action

OAs in pre-season action - Credit: Archant

On the face of it Old Albanian’s 36-12 defeat to Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday was a serious reverse for the visitors a week before the league season starts.

The hosts amassed three times the points OAs managed and dominated the scrums and the midfield for large portions of the game.

Yet head coach James Shanahan would only admit to ‘some frustration’ when asked to sum up the team’s performance.

Albanian produced their best rugby at the start of each half and it was remarkable how the second period mirrored the first.

Significantly the OA pack foraged well for most of the game and all the halfbacks should be pleased with their collective outing.

There is early evidence of pace out wide and these factors and the results of three weeks of pre-season matches undoubtedly give rise to Shanners’ bullishness.

There are a number of players who have put forward strong cases to be included in the squad in the absence of more established men, but injuries and unavailability mean there will very soon be the right sort of selection problem for the coaching team.

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OAs begin their National Two South league campaign on Saturday away to Cornish All Blacks.