Tynedale win for Old Albanian
- Credit: Archant
Albanians will have been pleased, if not a little relieved, to have registered their first win of the year at Woollams.
Albanians will have been pleased, if not a little relieved, to have registered their first win of the year at Woollams, writes Brian Quinn.
Tynedale came south following a win against Blaydon while A’s had suffered two losses so far this year.
As things turned out the visitors were outgunned up front. Indeed Tynedale’s first scrum was assaulted so powerfully the reset was awarded to OAs.
Charlie Hughes was one of the few Albanian players making serious headway into the visitors’ territory and Billy Johnson took advantage of one such foray with the first try after 14 minutes. Lawrence Rayner, converted.
Gavin Beasley missed the chance to open Tynedale’s account when his penalty went wide after 18 minutes but a series of unforced errors ensured OA did not stretch the lead.
Indeed the visitors scored next with an effective miss-move but captain Dan Rundle’s touchdown left the kick out of Beasley’s range.
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The remainder of the half played out in frustrating fashion as good approach work was undone by a lack of precision in the final stages. Still the teams turned around with OA two points to the good.
Chris May made his presence felt soon after the restart with a charge for the posts and, though the initial thrust was checked, Johannes Lombaard found the gap for Rayner to convert.
Scarcely a minute later Johnson was awarded a 10 minute rest but his sin-bin time came and went with no change to the scoreboard.
On his return, OA regained control and Brett McNamee forced his way over wide out. Rayner’s tough kick caused him no problems.
Winger Jimmy Speirs put the match beyond doubt with his bonus point try, darting over on the right with 14 minutes left. Rayner missed his target but was successful with a penalty six minutes later.
Then Tynedale sparkled. Hamish Smales and Chris Harris crossed the line and Craig Willis was successful with the final kick.
Head coach Andy Holloway said: “It was our first win but we now have eight points from three games.
“Our defence will have to be better against Esher next week and we will need a little more precision. But as we keep saying, there are no easy games at this level”.
This week’s man-of-the-match award, sponsored by Billy’s Bar in Harpenden, went to Laurence White.