Gallery: Old Albanian draw with Blaydon

Lombaard touches down

Lombaard touches down - Credit: Archant

Blaydon had won all six of their last outings and had beaten mighty Doncaster the previous week so Old Albanians had their work cut out from the start at Woollams.

It has to be said the drizzle and the murk didn’t help either side but the visitors were the first to impose themselves when hooker Francis Entressenge charged over for Andrew Baggett to convert.

Lawrence Rayner secured a penalty for the hosts, equalled by Baggett, before Rayner succeeded again. He also improved A’s first try when Charles Kingsman eluded his tacklers to give Albanians the lead for the first time.

The powerful Blaydon pack were given just desserts with a penalty try with half an hour gone, Baggett improving but he missed a penalty chance at the interval.

Benjamin Morriss was sinbinned at this time and this proved crucial to the outcome. Five minutes into the second period Kingsman confounded a static Blaydon defence with a deft grubber kick which he regathered and grounded. Rayner was again on target and improved Chris Lombaard’s try moments later when Stef Liebenberg cleverly set the centre free.

Tom Banks replied for Blaydon and their reformed scrum scored again with seven minutes left. Baggett’s missed conversion and OA hooker Brett McNamee’s astonishing three strikes against the head left the scores justly tied.