Old Albanian will hope this is that one game after failing to get better of Fylde
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 November 2017
Every season contains a match like this and every club suffers during this type of encounter with a certain lack of a green rub, peculiar injuries, wrong decisions and the like.
Albanians will hope the unhappy set of circumstances which played out in the 16-15 defeat to Fylde will prove sufficient torment for this campaign.
It was not a great spectacle but the overriding factor is that Fylde took more of their chances than their hosts.
It matters not that the winning kick crawled over the crossbar in the last minute but it does feel cruel when there is not the time to answer such a crucial blow.
Having said that the visitors are to be congratulated on their win, certainly after the months they have endured; Albanians will bide their time until the visit to Lancashire in March.
Albanian led 15-6 at the break as two Joe Bridger tries plus a penalty and conversion by Dan Watt cancelled out two Greg Smith penalties
However, Chris Friers took off through a defence which couldn’t close him down and Smith’s conversion put Fylde two points behind in the second half.
Albanian rumbled forward again and gained territorial ascendancy for fully 20 minutes but although the attacking pressure forced the visitors into penalty concessions, none of which yielded reward for the hosts.
In modern rugby if you get close to the target you have to score or risk handing a morale benefit to your opponents.
Fylde took this benefit upfield and held it there as the match wound down. One penalty, just within range, was all Smith needed to clinch the points.
The mayor of St Albans, Councillor Mohammad Iqbal Zia, and his wife Farhat Zia, were guests of OAs at their St Albans business networking lunch before the game.
OAs have around 800 mini and junior boys and girls among its membership and Cllr Zia expressed his delight at the figure.
He said: “Sporting facilities and opportunities can have a hugely positive impact on people’s physical and mental health.
“I am very grateful for organisations such as the Old Albanian Rugby Football Club that work very hard to promote and encourage sport in the community.”