Old Albanian reverse their one-point hoodoo with late win at Clifton

Chris West scored two tries for Old Albanian at Clifton.

Chris West scored two tries for Old Albanian at Clifton. - Credit: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY

After back-to-back defeats by a single point, Old Albanian reversed the trend in the most dramatic of fashions - winning by a solitary point themselves at Clifton.

The 33-32 success in National Two South also ended a run of three defeats for the Woollams-based rugby club and lifted them back into the top half of the table.

The winning score came with just three minutes remaining, two penalties from the hosts having put their noses six points in front.

An attempted drop goal gave possession to OAs and having ploughed upfield, Dan Watt found an overlap to go round the last defender and score.

Morgan Thompson held his nerve to kick the conversion and give Albanian the narrowest of wins.

The scrum-half had also literally had a hand in the victory, his block of a third conversion attempt at the end of the first half proving crucial.

This sides had turned round at half-time level at 17-17, the hosts scoring tries through Zakaria Hamid, Ricardo Cano and Bentley Halpin, Jack Lloyd landing two conversions, while for OAs the scorers were Thompson and Chris West, the latter getting two, both of which were converted by Watt.

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Clifton gained the first bonus point try with a catch and drive 10 minutes after the restart, Niall Gibbons with the award and sure-footed Lloyd obliged with the kick.

A’s bonus-point try followed three minutes later when Watt made the most of another fine scrum, adding the extras once again.

Lloyd then kicked those two penalties before the grandstand finish.

Albanian's second team beat Hertford 36-14 in Herts Middlesex Merit Table One.

The Romans took an early lead through Finn Morris and Paul Greener but an injury to the Hertford tight-head forced scrums to go uncontested.

That gave the visitors a way back into the game and draw level by the break but Archie Radovanovic’s man of the match performance in the second half helped create openings for Kadeem Collins, John Greener, Jake Whitfield and Kaz Henderson to get on the scoreboard.

Fly-half Ben Davies converted three from six.

Harpenden made it three wins from the last three in London One North thanks to a 47-19 success at Leighton Buzzard, while St Albans were given a walkover against Old Merchant Taylors' to stay second in London Three North West.

Verulamians meanwhile lost 23-17 to Bank of England.

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