More needed from Old Albanian as re-education continues with Plymouth defeat

Morgan Thompson's try against Plymouth Albion couldn't stop OAs slipping to defeat. Picture: NEIL BA

Morgan Thompson's try against Plymouth Albion couldn't stop OAs slipping to defeat. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Old Albanian Rugby Club’s re-education in the ways of National One continued in Devon last Saturday with a simple lesson in intensity.

There really wasn’t much difference in what the two sides did at Brickfields; Plymouth Albion simply did more of it and with greater power and pace rsulting in a 40-13 win.

With constant good possession being provided by the forwards, half-backs Cameron Setter and Kieran Hallett ran the Plymouth backline in fine fashion and their attacks were executed with a precision and speed which escaped the visitors for most of the match.

Head Coach James Shanahan said after this first ever fixture between his old club and Albanian: “I have watched all the videos and this is the best I have seen Albion play. They made very few mistakes and were a very good side today”.

Yet it was the visitors who took the lead with a Chris May penalty in the first minute.

Dan Williams crossed for Plymouth minutes later and Hallett added the conversion. Full-back Matt Shepherd was next over the line before May added his second penalty midway through the half.

Just before the interval Nile Dacres and Matt Crosscombe pretty much sealed the result for Albion, Hallett converting both.

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Shepherd notched his second soon after the restart and Hallett’s conversion put a 27 point gap between the sides.

A better passage of play by Billy Johnson’s men gave heart to the visitors going into the third quarter and Morgan Thompson’s try was converted by Ben Palmer.

Setter and Hallett returned the favour for the last score of the afternoon.

OAs have learned a great deal so far this season. The first torrid hour in the scrum in the Blaydon fixture last month was closely analysed and the pack has more than held its own in this department ever since.

Last Saturday’s examination may turn out to be worthwhile experience the deeper into the campaign they go.

Saturday’s visit to Darlington Mowden Park will demonstrate what’s been taken on board.

Kick-off at the Northern Echo Arena is at 3pm.