Opening league defeat for Old Albanian at Tynedale

OLD ALBANIAN’S first foray into the third tier of English rugby union ended in defeat on Saturday up in the North East.

There was an element of ring rust about the visitors attempts at their normal expansive game in the SSE National League 1 opener.

Three clear cut try-scoring opportunities went begging in the first period when timing was slightly off or the final pass did not go quite to hand.

Potentially this left 21 points on the pitch and Tynedale were able to benefit from the 12-5 margin at the break with tries from winger Allen Rogers and blind-side flanker Ben Frankland.

Richard Gregg opened the visitors account just before half time but was unable to convert.


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Even so hopes were high when Albanian opened the second half with the breeze at their backs and Gregg’s first successful kick, a penalty, followed the yellow card awarded to Tynedale’s influential No 8 Oliver Stedman two minutes after the restart.

Four minutes later Stefan Liebenberg edged OAs into the lead with a fine strike from close in. Gregg obliged with the extra points.

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Stedman scored the first of two tries successfully converted by Outson. Billy Johnson powered over at the end of the third quarter and Gregg’s improving kick gave Albanian a slender three-point margin.

Tynedale flyer Hamish Smales scored twice in the next five minutes before Stedman put the result beyond doubt with a powerful surge for his second which somehow took him through at least four attempted tackles. Outson’s conversion was a formality.

It is a long time since May, Marchon, Adams, Lombaard and Daish, all in the same match, failed to trouble the scorer.

It is also a long time since any side has scored 38 points against Shanners men, but this is a measure of the step up in class they have now made.

OAs face Richmond at Woollams this Saturday at 3pm, with a lunch planned for 1pm. Contact 01727 864476 for more information.

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