Palmer chips in to give Old Albanian a welcome victory over Cambridge

Jack Daly scores a try for Old Albanian. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Jack Daly scores a try for Old Albanian. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Ben Palmer’s boot proved the difference as Old Albanian beat Cambridge 26-24 on a murky day at Woollams.

The fly half enjoyed a 100 per cent return with two conversions and four penalties and Cambridge will have been disappointed to go away with just two league points having scored four tries in the gathering gloom.

The visitors’ scrum disintegrated at the first three times of asking but this did not prevent Stefan Liebenberg’s trademark tap-and-go from close in putting Cambridge ahead.

Jack Green converted but missed the second attempt after Mike Ayrton had shimmied his way over from the 22.

Cambridge No.8 Tom Nutley saw yellow for a maul infringement and Oliver Burgess pounced a minute later, Palmer improving and his first penalty narrowed the gap before James Ayrton charged over to increase the visitors’ lead once again.

Jack Daly then emulated Liebenberg and Palmer’s magnificent touchline conversion tied matters at the break.

Palmer’s second penalty gave OAs the lead for the first time, three minutes after the restart, only for Matt Hema to retake it for the visitor’s bonus point, Green again improving.

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Mistakes proliferated in the final stages but Albanian pressure increased giving Palmer good enough field position for two more crucial penalties.

The win keeps Old Albanian in ninth in National One, one place but now seven points clear of their Cambridgeshire opponents.

Albanians will have to reduce the error count when meeting seventh-place Rosslyn Park at Roehampton next week.