Hamilton the hero for rampant Old Albanian

Hertfordshire Presidents Cup quarter-final Old Albanian 50 Hertford 10 OLD Albanian s No.8 Ross Hamilton scored three of his side s tries as they eased past Hertford in the Herts Presidents Cup at Woollams on Saturday outscoring the visitors by eight tr

Hertfordshire Presidents' Cup quarter-final

Old Albanian 50

Hertford 10

OLD Albanian's No.8 Ross Hamilton scored three of his side's tries as they eased past Hertford in the Herts Presidents' Cup at Woollams on Saturday outscoring the visitors by eight tries to two.

The home side rested several key players ahead of their massive play-off clash with Old Patesians on Saturday, April 17, but the visitors, who could finish third in National Three London & SE, still had no answer.

OA scored five tries in a first half full of champagne rugby with all the three quarters and half backs lapping up stray balls and running exciting lines from set pieces.

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Hertford replied with a try by fly-half Robert Richardson just before half time and came out for the second half looking to narrow the 31-5 margin.

However, with one of his scything runs, OA's centre Chris Lombaard fed full-back Simon Lincoln to break Hertford hearts at 36-5.

Tom Chesters, playing on the wing this week, failed with the difficult conversion but with five successful pots and some fairly selfless running had a good afternoon.

The first half was controlled with magnificent aplomb by Man of the Match James Shanahan playing at fly-half and, although handing the place kicking duties to Chesters, he gave a masterclass in distribution from number 10.

Feinting with a dummy from seven meters out, he strolled over for the first try and with passes which were placed with exact precision for the recipient to accelerate onto ensured his three quarters were always operating in sufficient space.

Before leaving the field in the second half for Richard Gregg, he set up the next four tries, two for Hamilton and one each for Chris May and flanker Jamie Bache.

Hertford lost this game, however, in the pack.

Lineouts and scrums were carelessly ceded and their back row were simply too slow to create turnovers for lifeblood ball in the absence of set piece possession.

Lock Craig South drove over late in the game as tiredness set in, whilst winger Adam Roberts enjoyed a few runs from the little ball which came his way.

OA rounded off the afternoon with Hamilton's third and Mark Evans' only try, following a strike against the head and upfield surge by Simon Lincoln.

On the downside, flanker Graham Smith brought himself to the attention of referee Paul Nolan once too often and went off for 10 minutes towards the end of the game.

The OA pack dominated throughout and it was good to see both James Pavitt and Andrew Pearson come off the bench after long lay-offs due to injury for cameos in the second half.

Next week OA travel to Hertford in the league, kick-off 3pm.

OA: Lincoln, Chesters, Lombaard, May, Panting, Shanahan, Evans; Gelman, Botterman, Hughes, Comb, Lye, Smith, Bache, Hamilton.

Reps: Nelson, Pavitt, Pearson, Gregg.