National Two South: Plenty to ponder for Old Albanian after Dings Crusaders clinch late comeback

PUBLISHED: 12:38 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 17 October 2018

Charlie Hughes scampers away to score for Old Albanian at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Charlie Hughes scampers away to score for Old Albanian at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Archant

It would be easy to say Old Albanian snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again but the truth of it is things had gone pear-shaped long before the end of their 18-17 loss at Dings Crusaders.

Chris West goes over for Old Albanian at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHYChris West goes over for Old Albanian at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY

They had been crusing at 17-8 with a half hour still to play in Bristol.

But two tries in the last 10 minutes completed a dramatic comeback for the hosts and left a frustrated OAs to ponder what had gone wrong on the long journey home.

Carelessness was the root of their problems with prescision lacking at times, although a red card to Alex Brown for illegal use of the boot didn’t help either.

And it allowed Dings, who had endured an OA purple patch immediately after half time when the visitors scored three scintillating tries, to battle back for the win.

Old Albanian fell to an 18-17 defeat at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHYOld Albanian fell to an 18-17 defeat at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Albanian had been caught in the aftermath of a serious accident on the M4 which delayed their arrival by two hours and the kick-off by one.

And the first points went to the hosts with a Ben Bolster penalty inside the opening 10 minutes.

Dan Watt had already missed one shot at the posts by this point and he missed another just after Brown’s dismissal.

And a third penalty rattled the upright despite the Albanian kicker being just 20 yards away in a central position.

Old Albanian fell to an 18-17 defeat at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHYOld Albanian fell to an 18-17 defeat at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY

To make matters worse the ball was rapidly switched to the other end of the field where Jake Holcombe made it an 8-0 half-time lead.

But then came that purple patch with Ned Warne going over for the first and within minutes of the restart Charlie Watson bounded over unchallenged from 50 metres.

Chris West then got number three and with Morgan Thompson converting to give them a nine-point lead, few in the crowd were backing a home win.

But then two line-outs saw first Holcombe and then Tom Knight go over to complete the comeback.

Old Albanian fell to an 18-17 defeat at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHYOld Albanian fell to an 18-17 defeat at Dings Crusaders. Picture: NEIL BALDWIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Albanian will look to replicate the positives for the visit of Taunton to Woollams on Saturday.

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