Red card not enough to stop Old Albanian momentum

Max Malins produced a man-of-the-match performance. Photo: DAVID BUXTON

Max Malins produced a man-of-the-match performance. Photo: DAVID BUXTON - Credit: David Buxton

Old Albanian kept up with the leaders at the top of the National Two South League after this 24-8 victory away to Dorking – despite having a man sent-off.

Morgan Thompson saw red 11 minutes into the second-half but despite the disadvantage they hung to claim all five available points and will be glad to keep their momentum going in the face of a spirited Dorking effort.

In a fractured game, marred by the wet, blustery weather, the Woollams-based rugby club were guilty of the lack of precision which would have seen them cross the line in easier fashion.

For the first hour the visiting scrum worked well but the line-out stuttered and position and possession suffered accordingly.

Dorking had the slope in the first-half, and the visitors the substantial wind, but it was 12 minutes in, and after two penalty misses, that a handling mistake let Max Malins in at the posts.

Again the kick went wide.

On seventeen minutes another error was snapped up by Matt Gallaher and this time Malins improved from the touchline.

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Oli Edwards narrowed the gap on 27 minutes but Jason Billings crossed almost from the restart.

Malins’ conversion left the score 5-19 at the break.

Thompson’s red-card for foul play 11 minutes into the half threatened to derail OAs but Matt Noble’s penalty for Dorking five minutes later was not enough to take advantage.

From the bench James Shanahan stiffened OA resolve and the Dorking lineout lost its consistency.

Man-of-the-match Malins brushed off a would-be tackler on halfway and dived into the corner fifty meters later for the bonus point.

Albanian damage limitation did the rest.

The win leaves Albanian third in the league, one point behind Taunton in second and two behind leaders Cambridge.