OAs remain top after one-sided demolition of Southend

Sam Lunnon scored three against Southend. Picture: KEVIN LINES

Sam Lunnon scored three against Southend. Picture: KEVIN LINES - Credit: Archant

Old Albanian Rugby Club kept their strangle hold at the top of the National League Two South with this convincing 62-10 win over Southend Saxons.

Sam Lunnon led the way with a hat-trick of tries, with Chris Lombaard, Matt Gallagher, Jimmy Speirs, Nick Foster and Mike Allan twice also crossing the whitewash.

Max Malins added seven conversions and a penalty to complete the scoring.

Southend battled manfully throughout but were overwhelmed in this one-sided contest.

Certainly the visiting pack gave the OA forwards plenty to think about for most of the 80 minutes but when the ball reached the outsides, the Saxons struggled against a home back line full of flair and pace.

Malins, recovered from a foot injury and fresh from his first appearance with Saracens Storm, provided impetus not often seen in this division and he was ably backed up by Gallagher, Speirs and Allan.

Yet it was a forward who took the scoring honours; Lunnon’s hat-trick coming in the second half, and he and the tigerish Ollie Cooper-Millar and Harry Bate subdued most of Southend’s valiant attacking efforts.

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Albanians lineout was almost as productive as last week and their tight scrum was always dominant, the vast amount of possession amply reflected in the score.

The bonus point was reached before the break with Mark Billings converted his own try for Southend.

For the moment OAs remain in pole position in the league, ahead of Cambridge by five points with Bishop’s Stortford a further seven points adrift in third.