OAs take Hert from county double
London One Hertford 15 Old Albanian 44 OLD Albanian RFC made it a county double as they added the scalp of hosts Hertford to their recent success against Bishop s Stortford. The OAs put in an inspired performance
Old Albanian 44 Hertford 15
OLD Albanian RFC made it a county double as they added the scalp of Hertford to their recent success against Bishop's Stortford.
The OAs put in an inspired performance to record their biggest ever win against their old rivals on Saturday.
Chris May made his debut at full back for OAs and Mark Evans and Dene Miller replaced Eddie Panting and Mark Mansfield on the wings, with Jes Edwards starting on the flank.
OAs started brightly with huge gains from Edwards and former Saracens star Paul Gustard. The men from Woollams almost crossed the line on five minutes but were denied when Terry Adams was stopped by a crunching tackle in midfield.
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The score soon came when Richard Gregg combined with Triffan Edwards to open the scoring with an explosive break and Gregg added the conversion for 7-0.
Hertford hit back with a spell of pressure on the OAs 22 but the final pass was dropped to end the threat.
Henry Whitford led the way back for OAs with a powerful run off the back of the scrum to find Edwards and Arthur Mate in support. May finished off the move with a wonderful outside line and step-in to touch down and put OAs 14-0 ahead.
Hertford's number seven came close before being bundled into touch by Miller and from a clearing kick from behind the OA goal line, the home number 11 was unable to take the ball.
Things got worse for Hertford as they then conceded two successive penalties and Gregg slotted one for a 17-0 OA lead.
Always looking dangerous, Edwards gathered from the restart to make big yards but Hertford broke away with an interception from which OAs recovered well, at the expense of Terry Adams who sustained a hamstring injury. Adams was replaced by Ed Orchard, making his first appearance of the season, and a fine introduction it turned out to be.
With Paul Gustard sin-binned for 10 minutes, Hertford took advantage of the enforced reshuffle and, from a penalty, moved the ball well down the line for the number 11 to score in the corner.
Just minutes into the second half, Gregg slotted home another penalty for 7-20 and Ollie Peck set about pinning Hertford back with some intelligent kicking from the base of the scrum. OAs also took complete control of the line outs and seemed to be able to break at will but were pinged a number of times for holding on after gaining valuable territory. Hertford came back to 10-20 and OAs had to defend for a few minutes with a particularly huge kick put in by Orchard to relieve the pressure. It was from another stolen line out that Gregg found himself in a perfect position to pop over a drop-goal for 10-23.
Peck then thought he had scored from gathering his own kick ahead but he was adjudged by the referee to have stepped over the dead-ball line. OAs did not have to wait long for the next legitimate score though, as Gregg then charged down a kick and scored under the posts, with the conversion making it 30-10.
With 20 minutes still to play, the OA pack provided the platform for the final assault on the stunned Hertford 15. There was good work again from the back row with Simon Lye off the bench, strong running from Nathan Burn and great line out jumping.
Another yellow card, this time for Edwards, did not detract from the OA effort and Mark Evans scored next to crown a fine game before Miller set up Peck for his try to pull away again to 10-44.
Hertford continued to work hard but their backs just could not breach the OA defence. They were, however, awarded the last score of the day, a penalty try, to make the final score 15-44 to OAs.
After a week off, the men from Woollams are next in action when they entertain Jersey at home on Saturday, October 25.