Shanahan takes positives from Bedford outing

Sam Lunnon and Ollie Marchon, pictured below, missed the trip to Bedford but should be available for

Sam Lunnon and Ollie Marchon, pictured below, missed the trip to Bedford but should be available for Saturday's game against Richmond. - Credit: Archant

James Shanahan, the Old Albanian head coach, says he can take a lot of positives from Saturday’s round robin tournament at Bedford Blues.

Ollie Marchon

Ollie Marchon - Credit: Archant

In OA’s first taste of pre-season action, they lost to their Championship hosts before beating Ampthill Town, one of the teams to replace them in National League One following last season’s relegation.

Shanahan casted his eye over 25 players in the two 40-minute games and was really pleased with what he saw.

“It was a good test,” he said. “I can take a lot from it. We attacked really well and created opportunities and our set piece was very good – in the first game we were 100 per cent in our lineout and the scrum was good.

“There were a few defensive lapses and Bedford hurts us from them. It’s pre-season so we were a bit rusty.”

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He added: “We made 10 changes for the second game against Ampthill and all of them stepped up and did really well.”

OAs were without Sam Lunnon, Ollie Marchon and the loan players from Saracens, so the squad will get stronger going into this weekend’s friendly against Richmond, another National League One side, at Woollams.

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“We always have good games against Richmond,” said Shanahan.

“They came up to National League One at the same time was we did. We always have tight, well contested games against them and, even though it’s only pre-season, I expect Saturday to be the same.”

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