Old Albanian worthy winners as promotion hunt continues

OAs break forward

OAs break forward - Credit: Archant

Old Albanian kept their push for promotion from National Two South alive with a 24-3 win over Worthing Raiders.

The win leaves OAs five points short of league leaders Cambridge with four games to go, but importantly they are 12 clear of third-placed Bishop’s Stortford.

This match was one of the quieter affairs seen at Woollams for some time. Undoubtedly both sides gave their all but nothing really sparkled and a quiet crowd went home perhaps a little subdued.

Once again the OA defence was a massive factor in this five point victory as every Worthing attack, and there were plenty, was repulsed effectively.

It has a serious effect on morale when a side has spent plenty of time within striking range of their opponents’ line and fails to take advantage.

Such was the case for the visitors during much of the afternoon.

It took 15 minutes for Albanians to open the scoring.

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James Shanahan made the break and a looped pass found the supporting Matt Gallagher, who was strong enough to hold off the defender for fully 20 metres.

The full-back’s conversion attempt fell foul of the wind.

Karl Garside’s yellow card allowed George Montgomery to pull three points back for Raiders but despite the one man advantage the visitors were unable to stop two further tries by Jimmy Speirs and Chris Lombaard before the break.

A turgid second half was enlivened for the Woollams crowd when Billy Johnson was driven over by his pack and Speirs was on the end of another handy Shanahan pass directly from a tight scrum as the match drew to its end.

Remarkably Gallagher’s kick was the third of the match to hit the woodwork.