Play-off guaranteed as Old Albanian punish Old Elthamians

Chris May scored twice as Old Albanian confirmed a promotion play-off spot at least. Picture: NEIL B

Chris May scored twice as Old Albanian confirmed a promotion play-off spot at least. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Old Albanian Rugby Club confirmed they would be in at least a promotion play-off after a comfortable 46-20 win over Old Elthamians at Woollams.

The win, coupled with Cambridge’s 36-15 success over Southend Saxons, keeps OAs five points behind the league leaders in National League Two South but importantly they are now clear of Bishop’s Stortford in third.

Albanians were happy enough with an eight try haul but will want to tighten up on discipline before the visit to Barnes next week.

Four home players were yellow-carded and this could hurt in a more difficult situation.

Matt Deane opened the scoring after a stolen OE lineout and Tom White replied with a penalty for the visitors.

A great combined breakout by Billy Johnson and Deane was finished by Chris Lombaard and Mike Allan escaped down the right minutes later.

May converted but White notched another penalty as the half ended.

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Allan’s second strike after good continuity by Jordi Pasqualin brought the bonus point five minutes into the second quarter, May converting again.

Then Craig Dowsett intercepted a loose pass on halfway and charged to the line; White adding the extras.

Next a series of incredible offloads allowed May over and Lombaard scored his second when Pasqualin made 30 metres from a smart short penalty. May added the extras.

Stuck on his own line Sam Lunnon broke free from the attacking OE players and pounded towards halfway and he was on hand to finish off in spectacular fashion 90 metres later.

Back-rowers Tom Brown and Nick Stevens traded tries as the match drew to a close.

Points difference is now exactly equal with that of Cambridge who show no letup in their charge for the title.

National League Two South (top):

1. Cambridge 123 points

2. Old Albanian 118 points

Remaining fixtures:

April 23

Barnes v OAs

Bury St Edmunds v Cambridge

April 30

Cambridge v Dorking

OAs v Launceston