Plenty of entertainment for Old Albanian supporters but in two very different matches

PUBLISHED: 13:22 20 February 2019

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

Archant

Two completely different games still kept supporters of Old Albanian Rugby Club thoroughly entertained.

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

The Saints produced the one success, beating Sutton & Epsom 27-5 in the quarter-final of the Intermediate Cup.

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

The hosts were previously undefeated but Saints travelled in a positive mood.

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

What followed was a physical affair as both teams looked to take control of the game and show exactly why they are both top of their respective leagues.

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

The sides shared three tries in the first-half, Saints leading 10-5, and for most of the second half it was Sutton who were on top.

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

However, superb defence and a number of turnovers brought two tries in the final five minutes and sealed the Albanian success.

OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.OA Saints are through to the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup after a 27-5 win over Sutton & Epsom.

Head coach Darran Brown said: “Each week Sarah McKenna and I ask for a little more from this phenomenal group of players and without question they knuckle down and produce.

“We are incredibly proud of every one of them.”

Saints have been handed a home draw in the semi-final, Newbury the visitors to Woollams on March 24.

Woollams was also the venue for a quite remarkable encounter involving the men’s first team and Worthing in National Two South.

Both sides produced sparkling attacking play but a late converted try for the south-coast visitors meant it finished 34-34.

Certainly there was nobody queueing up as winner of the guess the score competition but neither were there any complaints about the entertainment value of the 11-try encounter.

And nobody would have predicted the final outcome after Worthing opened up a 24-0 lead after little more than 20 minutes, Harry Barlow bagging a hat-trick and Kiba Richards the other.

But by half-time the gap was just five as two for Tobias Munday and one for Charlie Hughes, plus two Dan Watt conversions gave OAs hope.

Harry Morgan put OAs in front before a Matt McLean penalty nudged Worthing ahead again.

But after Tim Bond had struck on the hour and Watt bagged Albanian’s sixth try 10 minutes later, a seven-point lead looked like it would hand OAs an unlikely victory.

Visiting outside centre Jack Forrest had other ideas though and he crossed close enough to the posts for McLean’s final equalising kick.

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