OAs roll to fourth straight win
- Credit: TONY CARTER
Macclesfield 17 Old Albanian 51
When Bayi Alo was driven over from a lineout five metres out just two minutes had passed in this encounter, it seemed then as if Old Albanian were going to enjoy a relatively simple victory, writes Brian Quinn.
Though the final score was a record of a comprehensive win, much work remained to be done before brave Macclesfield gave up the field to their visitors.
This was proved when, eight minutes later and with OAs dominating midfield, the hosts won a lineout on halfway and outside centre Elliott Brierley sailed through the said midfield defence to equal the scores.
Matthew King made a similar incursion after fifteen minutes and so far all three conversions had gone wide. Yet the Blues had the lead and seemed serious about keeping it. Indeed they defended brilliantly when a series of scrums played out five metres from their line and ended in a home free kick when As’ shunt came on early.
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Yet Ollie Cooper-Millar touched down after a lineout catch and drive five minutes from the break and Richard Gregg’s conversion gave the visitors a lead they were not to lose. His successful penalty made the half time score 10-15.
Most of the rest belonged to Albanians particularly after Jordi Pasqualin had stolen down the left touchline from fully forty metres. Scrum and lineout domination allowed fly half Gregg to play as he would wish and his distribution and out of hand kicking were a masterclass. His delicate crossfield punt to the waiting Jimmy Speirs put the winger unchallenged over in the right corner for A’s bonus point.
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‘Bomber’ Lombaard took the score to the thirty mark but Macclesfield struck back immediately when Matthew King tore over after great work by Sam James. Tom Eaton converted.
The resurgence was not to be however and the hosts were overwhelmed by three tries in the final minutes, one a penalty try and the others notched by Andy Berry and Dan Watt. Gregg improved all three.
Esher come visiting next weekend and will have viewed Albanian resurgence with interest. It will be a daunting encounter but much has been achieved over the past six weeks. Kickoff 15.00.