Marchon’s pace lacerates Lydney

OAs move up to third

National League 2 South

Old Albanian 57 Lydney 8

AFTER the pre-Christmas tension of beating Henley by a relatively small margin, the New Year saw OAs in an expansive mood, allowing the ball and sheer pace to gather one bonus and four win points to ease into third place in the table.

Both the clubs above, who must be looking over their shoulders with some alarm, had wins and both clubs play OAs in the next fortnight. An away trip beckons at Hartpury College, Gloucester, this Saturday and at home to top club Richmond, kick off 3pm, on the following Saturday. To turn the parlance of relegation battles on its head, both matches will be ‘10-pointers’.

Ollie Marchon, with two tries in this match and who passed two at the last ditch to supporting players, is the fourth highest try scorer in the league. Impressive? Yes, when you consider that two other OAs, Andrew Daish (sixth) and Terry Adams (eighth) are also in the top 10 and no other club has more than one candidate in the list. The club still has the highest points difference of 365; only Hartpury with 347 and Richmond, 310, get close.

Also scoring two tries was right wing Chris May firstly in receipt after a Marchon burst of 50 metres and secondly in his own right touching down with an outstretched arm close to the posts. Richard Gregg walked away with a personal haul of 22 points from a try, a penalty kick which began the scoring after five minutes and seven out of the eight tries converted.

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This was the fourth encounter with Lydney in two seasons. In the first, OAs were suckered into losing a tidy lead as Lydney kept the ball up their collective jumpers, avenged in the home fixture but only just and earlier this season a Lydney half-time lead of 17-12 was overturned to the tune of a 23-41 comeback by OAs. There were ten changes in the Lydney squad from that game and little evidence of either their fearsome pack or attacking cohesion.

The front row had not changed at all and their No 3, Nick Selway was given an uncomfortable afternoon by Charlie Hughes and his colleagues. The only flash of the Lydney pack of old resulted in their try in the second half following a gritty rolling maul which took numerical advantage of OA skipper Lawrence White’s absence on yellow card duty. The ball was touched down to everybody’s surprise by Lydney full-back, Tony Wicks, who had also kicked a penalty to equalise early in the first half. In the game hope of achieving a double-figure score for his side, he moved prematurely towards his conversion kick but the ever-alert Gregg pounced to boot it to safety.

It has to be said but not stated that this was not the only moment of unintentional comedy from the Lydney side during the second half as a 22-3 disadvantage from half time advanced to the final score.

The biggest cheer of the match went to lock, Ollie Cooper-Millar as he was fed a ball 30 metres out from the Lydney try line and stormed over knocking aside would-be tacklers. Terry Adams also warmed up the crowd with the first try of the match after 16 minutes following Paul Gustard’s catch from a kick-off with a long feed to Marchon who made 30 metres unopposed before offloading to Adams to ignite the after-burners. Marchon also fed the supporting Scott Spurling for his try right on the stroke of full-time.

OAs: Gregg, May, Adams, Spiers, Marchon, Shanahan, Bruzulier, Hughes, Cope, Cecere, Cooper-Millar, Bickle, White �, Farenheim, Gustard.

Reps: Spurling, Ross, Phillips, Lombaard, Collins.