It never rains but it pours as Old Albanians are taken to school by Hartpury College
PUBLISHED: 09:19 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:21 15 November 2016
Danny Loo Photography 2016
Old Albanian Rugby Club were shut-out at a rainswept Woollams as National One leaders Hartpury College inflicted a 32-0 defeat.
The unpleasant weather did not help either set of players and the ball was spilled uncharacteristically often in this dour encounter.
Albanians stuck to the task manfully but the obvious Hartpury advantage in fitness told as early as the first minute when Mike Wilcox crossed wide out on the right.
Jacob Perry missed the conversion and fared no better with his second attempt 15 minutes later after Mat Gilbert drove over, again to the right of the uprights.
His penalty brought first half scoring to a close.
In between these two opening tries OAs gradually came to terms with the pace of the game. Possession and position in no way went exclusively to the visitors.
Although under pressure throughout the scrum and line-out performed admirably and will bring the extra vigour the pack discovered to later contests this season.
Albanians huge injury list was also a serious consideration but it seems some of those missing may well start to reappear as early as next week. Worryingly Andrew Daish was replaced when he suffered an arm injury and he awaits tests in the week to determine its severity.
The hosts did have definite scoring chances, in particular twice in the second half. Neither one bore fruit despite the best efforts of the pack.
The half time score of 0-13 was rapidly increased to 0-32 when Jake Poledri, Harry Randall and James Stephenson scored Hartpury’s last three tries. Perry and Robert Shaw shared two conversions.
The rest of the match was much more even, if scoreless, and Billy Johnson will ensure his charges are suitably fired up for the challenges to come.
Next week Albanians visit Esher who have also had a mixed start to their season.