Bournemouth pushed to one side as Old Albanian's home form continues to impress
PUBLISHED: 11:07 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:07 08 October 2019
If Old Albanian can replicate their home form away from the comforts of their Woollams base their stature in National Two South will improve dramatically.
The 39-14 success over Bournemouth followed previous victories against Bury St Edmunds and Sutton & Epsom and was as comfortable a win as you can get.
They scored a healthy six tries, just as they had done in those first two home matches, and conceded two to a Bournemouth side whose efforts belied their lowly ranking in the table.
That said, much of OAs performance betrayed a certain hurried bluster. When things slowed down and cool thought was applied the flow of play was a great deal smoother, more controlled and more effective.
In tight phases the hosts can be mostly happy with their day. The line-out functioned reliably as throwing and receiving largely corresponded and the scrum was dominant all afternoon and, considering the lack of weight, bullied a bigger pack.
Remarkably two of the Albanian front row are still teenagers and displayed strength and maturity beyond their meagre years.
Loose play does need tightening but for the most part the defence was staunch. Only twice did concentration waver and the Dorset visitors took advantage on both occasions.
Morgan Thompson was as dependable as ever at the tail of the scrum and set the backs moving effectively throughout.
He was on hand just after the break to score in what was his centenary game for the club. It was a display that rightly earned him the man of the match award.
Josh Hallett and Ollie Stonham were first over the whitewash and Josh Butler's penalty and conversion gave Albanian a 15-7 half-time lead.
Skipper Jamie Townsend, Nic Defeo and Dan Watt crossed in the second period with Butler adding two more conversions to finish the scoring.
Bournemouth made their mark when forwards Harry Leadbeater and Sam Hardcastle touched down either side of the interval, Grant Hancox converting both.
There was one black cloud though as Alex Chalcraft needed a trip to hospital following an injury that was treated on the field by the medical staff of both clubs.
The result puts OAs into sixth and facing a trip to third-placed Taunton on Saturday.