Old Albanian lose pulsating derby against Bishop’s Stortford
- Credit: Archant
Local derbies are meant to be this exciting and the losing side, if there is one, will always remember the moments which turned the game.
The strike against the head which led to the final try could be said to be the crucial moment but this encounter might have been decided long before if OAs had been a little tighter in execution.
Stortford’s precision was slightly better than Albanians for most of the first half when the hosts faced the sun and the wind and it was no surprise when they took the lead after six minutes with George Cullen’s first penalty.
He increased the advantage to 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Matt Gallagher levelled matters with two strikes of his own coming up to the half-hour and that is the way the half ended.
You may also want to watch:
Stortford would have been pleased with the way their scrum went in the first period and they had a definite edge at the line-out all afternoon.
Albanian broken play made the counter attack a handy option.
- 1 More things which have gone but are not forgotten in St Albans
- 2 Stamp duty holiday extension to be debated in Parliament
- 3 Man sentenced to three years in prison for breaking girlfriend's jaw
- 4 COVID-19 deaths across Hertfordshire hit new milestone
- 5 Restaurant delivers food to households self-isolating due to Covid
- 6 Your school heroes - praise for teachers and support staff during third lockdown
- 7 St Albans City game at Dulwich Hamlet postponed due to positive test in Londoners' squad
- 8 14 St Albans things that are gone but not forgotten
- 9 Property Spotlight: A stunning conversion in the heart of Harpenden
- 10 Yellow warning for rain in Herts as Storm Christoph approaches
Gallagher nudged his side in front five minutes after the restart after a ruck infringement and Albanians were happy to maintain that advantage for the next 20 minutes in reasonably comfortable style.
Another Gallagher, Mike, shook matters up with 64 minutes gone when he stepped through the visitors’ cover defence on his left for Cullen to convert.
Over-ambition led to a Stortford knock-on on the Albanian 22 and the loose ball was picked up by James Shanahan.
He fed the rampaging Harry Bate who charged half the length of the field to end between the sticks.
Gallagher’s improvement gave A’s a three point lead with eight minutes to go.
Then came that scrum and pressure in the Albanian 22 which ultimately let Dom Morris in wide on the left.
Cullen converted magnificently to give Stortford a 20-16 win.
Cambridge return to pole position in the League with OAs 10 points ahead of Stortford.
There are now some tricky fixtures to be played, the toughest of which is likely to be the visit to Redruth in the middle of February but away games at Taunton and Clifton might also rattle Albanian nerves.
In the meantime the consolidation process starts when Chinnor are greeted at Woollams next Saturday.
Kick-off is at 3pm.