Gregg inspires OAs
London and South East One Haywards Heath 11 Old Albanians 34 Inspired by an awesome, all round performance from Tryfan Edwards and a faultless kicking display by Richard Gregg, OA s collected another two away points which lifted them to fifth position in
London and South East One
Haywards Heath 11
Old Albanians 34
Inspired by an awesome, all round performance from Tryfan Edwards and a faultless kicking display by Richard Gregg, OA's collected another two away points which lifted them to fifth position in London One.
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Haywards Heath, who were desperate for points to propel themselves out of the relegation zone took to the pitch full of confidence from last week's close encounter at Luton where they hit back with five tries in the second half.
Though OAs used their superior backs to eventually build an unassailable lead, had Heath been able to deploy a lively back line to greater effect then the tally of four tries to one could have been a lot closer.
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In their best period, during the third quarter, the home side twice knocked on within sight of the line and more than once chose the wrong option by going inside with men over outside.
In contrast, whilst rarely at their best, OAs did succeed in putting their chances away.
Dene Miller opened the scoring after Gregg had cleverly switched play from the left. Then Miller completed a neat interchange which gave James Pavitt possession five metres out with a line of defenders ahead.
The experienced lock, who together with James Kriukelis dominated the lineout throughout, wrong-footed his markers and twisted to successfully ground the ball.
Gregg, on song with his kicking from ground and hand all afternoon, slotted his second conversion and was again on hand to send over a penalty in the opening exchanges of the second half.
Martin Jarrett, made it two penalties out of three shortly afterwards to keep within two converted tries of the visitors and when OAs next transgressed, the Heath full back elected to go for goal once again, clearly still confident in his side's ability to stage the second, significant rearguard action in successive matches.
In the event his kick failed to find its mark and signalled the moment for The Woollams' Men to press ahead and seal their victory. OAs, with Paul Gustard defiant in defence, had earlier endured a sustained period of home pressure, and their backs were now relishing the opportunity to resume their offensive role. Edwards repeatedly probed the defence and Ed Panting, his partner in the centre, made a dangerous counter which was halted just short.
The inevitable score came courtesy of some Gregg magic, when the fly half scythed through four defenders and nudged the ball into the corner for Tom Chesters to dive on.
When debutant James Hearne crowned an accomplished display with a late try following some sweet interplay between Edwards and Gregg, OA's were 'home and hosed'. Gregg maintained his perfect kicking record. Winger Lee Evans scored a consolation try deep into injury time which on balance was just reward for his side's efforts.
OAs' squad and supporters now turn their attention to next Sunday's Herts President's Cup Final in which they meet old rivals Bishop's Stortford at Croxley Green ko 3pm.
OAs: Tom Chesters, Dene Miller, Ed Panting, Tryfan Edwards, James Hearne, Richard Gregg, Mark Evans, Adam Gelman, Gregg Botterman, Nathan Byrne, Alex Bennett, James Pavitt, James Kriukelis, Paul Gustard, Simon Lye. Subs: Peter Nelson, Joe Vassie, Francis Denny.