Home comforts for Old Albanian as they face Hull Ionians

Saracens' Max Malins will return for Old Albanian at home to Hull Ionians. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Saracens' Max Malins will return for Old Albanian at home to Hull Ionians. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Old Albanian’s battle to avoid relegation from National One heads back to the familiar surroundings of Woollams with a clash against another team in the dogfight at the bottom, Hull Ionians.

Last weekend’s effort in the 52-5 loss to Coventry was brave but they are top of the heap for a reason, indeed several good reasons, and Saturday’s encounter will demonstrate how much the squad has learned in adversity.

Though sometimes overwhelmed at the Butts Park Arena, the OA defence never lost its spirit and would have fared much better against a side who were not in possession of the type of arsenal Cov have developed.

Tomorrow gives the opportunity to see if this is true since, to use a nautical metaphor, Hull are in a similar boat at the lower reaches of National One.

Gavin Hogg states the squad is bullish about attacking possibilities and, given a decent share of tight possession, there is plenty of talent outside the pack.

Among the forwards there have been the traditional changes and Ross Hamilton is unavailable this week.

His place will be taken by Danny Cutmore who has obvious pedigree and will relish the challenge.

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Saracens’ Max Malins returns at fly-half, probably just for this outing, and his presence is sure to gladden the heart of Albanian’s on and off the field.

The corresponding fixture went well at the start of the campaign and, with home advantage, they will hope for another stirring result.

Kick-off is at Woollams 3pm.

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