Old Albanian beaten by a single point on opening day

George Perkins, formerly of Oaklands College, scored twice for OAs against Tynedale.

George Perkins, formerly of Oaklands College, scored twice for OAs against Tynedale. - Credit: Archant

Old Albanian were beaten 11-10 by Tynedale in their opening game of the National League One season.

This match had all the appearances of another pre-season practice as both sides struggled to come to terms with the opening of a proper League campaign, writes Brian Quinn.

Suffice it to say that Albanians had cause to rue the wasting of so many winning opportunities that even the most ardent Tynedale supporters were unsure quite how their favourites nudged their way into the winners enclosure.

However, the scoreboard does not lie and every win counts so A’s now have some soul searching to do before Ealing come calling next weekend. The disappointment displayed by the team in general at the end of this lack lustre showing gives hope that improvements are in the wind.

It was not all doom and gloom. Even though the visitors’ scrum was at times under pressure and the lineout, normally so dependable, creaked from time to time, large parts of the afternoon were spent deep in Tynedale territory where desperate defending or unforced errors denied the taking of the scoring pass. The hard part had so often been achieved; the final detail was so often lacking.

Andy Holloway was as mystified as the rest in his summation. “Injuries to key players did not help our cause. But we have a strong squad who should have coped in adversity. We made enough mistakes to last a month not just a game.

“But the players know where we need to improve and, whilst this does not exactly form a shaky start to the Season, the tenacity is there amongst the lads to sort the problems out. We will work on it midweek.”

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The hosts scored a try and a penalty in a first half which they dominated. Things turned round somewhat in the second period at least in terms of ground gained and possession taken. However, two well taken tries by George Perkins in the last ten minutes were not quite enough to send the visitors home happy.