OAs promotion hopes smashed by resolute Chinnor
PUBLISHED: 09:04 08 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:04 08 February 2016
Old Albanian Rugby Club's push for promotion from National Division Two South took another blow after a shock home defeat to Chinnor.
Old Albanian RFC v Chinnor RFC
Chinnor pulled off a shock win thanks to good ball-control. Picture: KEVIN LINES
Chris Lombaard puts in a tackle. Picture: KEVIN LINES
OA's on the defensive. Picture: KEVIN LINES
Player-coach James Shanahan attempts to stop a Chinnor attack. Picture: KEVIN LINES
OAs stop another Chinnor attack. Picture: KEVIN LINES
Sam Lunnon powers forward. Picture: KEVIN LINES
Chinnor slowly rumble the ball out of their 22. Picture: KEVIN LINES
Harry Bate puts in a tackle for OAs versus Chinnor. Picture: KEVIN LINES
OAs look to steal the ball at a ruck against Chinnor. Picture: KEVIN LINES
OA's frustrations boiled over late on. Picture: KEVIN LINES
OAs try to get a foothold in the game. Picture: KEVIN LINES
At the start of play OAs were just two points off the top spot in second while Chinnor lay in the relegation zone, with only bottom club Launceston beneath them.
But on the evidence of this performance, you would have been forgiven for thinking those positions were reversed.
Chinnor played superbly and were well worth the victory against a lacklustre home side, for whom this was their third successive loss.
They mastered the stiff breeze far better than Albanians, who only managed to get on the scoreboard five minutes from time when Nick Foster crossed in the corner.
By that point Chinnor had run in three tries and while they didn’t claim a bonus point, the win was enough to lift them out of the danger zone.
Albanians had the wind in their faces in the first half and it soon became apparent that kicking was not going to be an option.
Choosing to keep the ball in hand they had some success, with wingers Jimmy Speirs and Mike Allan getting through the gain-line on a number of occasions.
However, passing was the biggest downfall for the hosts, with offloads regularly bouncing out of hands or going too high to allow for flowing rugby.
And it was from one errant pass that Chinnor scored, Oscar Heath gleefully accepting the gift, which Sam Angell turned into seven points.
Old Albanian would have hoped to use the wind to their advantage in the second half but amazingly Chinnor and Heath scored an exact replica of their first try six minutes after the restart.
And they extended their advantage further on 61 minutes when Greg Goodfellow, who was at the heart of most of Chinnor’s attacks, scampered through.
Foster stopped him inches short of the line but the arriving support brought the score.
In between Chinnor played the conditions and OAs perfectly, slowly rumbling out of their 22 and using scrums to run the clock down.
For Albanians Foster’s try was a mere consolation, leaving their supporters and title push stunned.