OAs second string see off Tring
Canterbury Shield Division Four Old Albanians 22 Tring 3 OAs second XV game took centre stage at Woollams on Saturday and the young side thrilled the large crowd, present for a Vice President s lunch, with a committed, attacking display. Having forced a d
Canterbury Shield Division Four
Old Albanians 22 Tring 3
OAs second XV game took centre stage at Woollams on Saturday and the young side thrilled the large crowd, present for a Vice President's lunch, with a committed, attacking display.
Having forced a draw away to Tring in November, OAs seized the opportunity to move closer to their rivals within the top three of the league with a thoroughly convincing win, set up by a sound forward display and finished by a rampant back line.
After the action, long term sponsor Peter Blake-Turner, praised their collective efforts and singled out experienced fly half Justin Azzopardi in a close contest for man of the match just ahead of fellow try scorer Tom Lewis.
Between them, Azzopardi and Lewis, ably abetted by scrum half Joe Binfield, bossed the play and initiated a succession of attacks in which outside centre Huy Lee was always on hand to link up with his wingers.
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Paul Ashford was first to benefit on 30 minutes when Lewis offloaded after a powerful run and Ashford stretched in the tackle to ground the ball. Tring had led by a penalty converted by their full back in the opening quarter before OAs' backs wrested the initiative.
The home side built steadily on their slender interval lead in a more one-sided second period though their opponents assisted in their own downfall by setting up Azzopardi for his try, and subsequent conversion, courtesy of an intercepted pass.
'Azzo', who had incurred a number of stitches in a head wound whilst on first team duty at North Walsham a week earlier, then forced what proved to be a disappointing, drop out from the away side, fielded by Lewis. The eager full back, one of a number of team mates with the experience of London One rugby in the locker, coolly chased his own kick ahead and went all the way to establish a decisive lead at 17-3.
As befitting their league status, Tring were by no means short of attacking ideas themselves but a number of threatening thrusts down the left were rarely allowed to penetrate the red zone by an uncompromising home defence in which Harry Knighton and Dave Fergusson were putting in some big hits.
Luke Kenny, back in action after a long lay off through injury completed the scoring late in the game with a well taken try in the corner to keep his side still very much in contention in the hunt for league honours.
OAs supporters joined with First team players enjoying a rare weekend off in recognition of the Seconds successful season to date. Under coaches Jamie Simpson and Stuart Vassie they are developing into a well balanced and formidable unit which is also entertaining to watch.
The club is enjoying success across all of its five senior men's teams reflecting the strength in depth which has been built by a dedicated coaching staff.
OAs First XV resume their league campaign next Saturday away to Haywards Heath having jumped above Bishop's Stortford in London One on points scored difference, without having played.
OAs: Tom Lewis, Luke Kenny, Huy Lee, Jacob Burd, Paul Ashford, Justin Azzopardi, Joe Binfield, Andy Clark, Ade Summers, Charlie Johnson, Joe Peach, Dan Barnes, Harry Knighton, Rob Farenheim, Joe Vassie. Subs: James Coles, Dave Fergusson.