Young guns get Old Albanian off to a flyer with six-try show
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Old Albanians may have spent the summer haemorrhaging players but their talented youngsters quickly laid to rest any trepidation among the Wollams fans with a fine 38-19 win over Bury St Edmunds.
The Suffolk club had done the double over OAs last year but there was never likely to be a repeat of those contests as the home team won six tries to three against the much larger visitors.
But the smaller pack fared better than expected in the tight elements of the match and that will only breed confidence for the rest of the National Two South season.
The turnovers and possession gained was well used throughout the afternoon and the defence was mostly solid, with gritty tackling in all departments keeping Bury's scoring opportunities to a minimum.
But it was in broken play where Albanian were strongest and the back-row took the lion's share of the plaudits here.
Conor Gracey, Kay Minkiewicz and rampaging Oliver Stonham were a constant menace to the Suffolk men.
Outside the front eight, scrum-half Morgan Thompson continued to efficiently feed fly-half Joe Butler. That in turn allowed centres Nico Defeo and Dan Watt more than enough time and space to pressure the Bury defence all day.
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There is speed and strength in this squad and this result can only breed confidence.
Aaron Martinez crossed in the 12th minute and he was followed by Ned Warne and Butler before the half hour.
Thompson ended a sparkling break and earned the bonus point before the interval and Defeo and Watt added two tries in the second period.
Watt also helped himself to four conversions for a personal tally of 13 points.
For Bury Ben Leng's first half effort was added to by Jack Harvey and Seb Dusi, Max Machin added the extras to two of them.
Albanian head coach James Buckland was delighted with his charges' performance especially since there are improvements to be made before the journey to Leicester Lions next week.
"It looked like a good one to play in," he mused afterwards.