Old Albanian RFC Match Programme

Old Albanians vs Birmingham & Solihull

Saturday 24th November 2018

Birmingham and Solihull Rugby Club is a rugby union club representing Birmingham and Solihull which was formed in 1989 by a merger of the original Birmingham (founded 1911) and Solihull rugby clubs, which were both established over 60 years ago. They currently play in National League 2 South having been level transferred to the division following their promotion from Midlands Premier as champions at the end of the 2017-18 season.

The club’s original name was Birmingham and Solihull RFC, but in 2001 due to the club colours of black, white, red and gold, and the alliteration of the name, the club underwent a large scale rebranding, adopting the alias Pertemps Bees. The team have since shortened this to Bees.

Birmingham & Solihull Rugby Club Limited was formed on the 30th October 2009 following the liquidation of Birmingham & Solihull RFC.

Prior to that, Birmingham & Solihull RFC was founded in 1989 upon the merger of two clubs, Birmingham and Solihull RFCs. The merger ended for Birmingham 80 years as an independent club,with Solihull RFC dating back to 1933.

Today, Birmingham & Solihull Ruby Club - based at Portway, just off Junction 3 of the M42, is one of the foremost rugby clubs in the West Midlands.

With the first team - “the Bees” - playing in National League 2 South (English rugby’s fourth tier), the club also has a very strong mini & junior section with age groups from Under 7s upwards as well as a Colts and Development (2nds) squad.

Club Main Sponsor

A word from our President

On behalf of OLD ALBANIAN RFC I extend a very warm welcome to you all today in particular the Players, Management, Officials & Supporters of BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL RC on their first visit to Woollams.

Having read the Rugby Paper report on the BEES’ game last week against high flyers HENLEY HAWKS, the BEES were unlucky to ship a try in the last few minutes to lose by 24-15 & so come to us sitting one off the bottom of our League. As we all know, in this most competitive of Leagues, any Team on their day can beat any other. We, on the other hand, had an excellent away win against CLIFTON, making it three wins in a row, first time we’ve achieved that this season ! So, with both Teams needing points, we can expect another exciting encounter this afternoon. Let’s all hope that today’s game is played in the best possible rugby spirit, free from any serious injury & … a fourth win on the trot for OAs !

In addition to welcoming BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL & their entourage this afternoon, I also warmly welcome many of our Ladies, Sponsors, Benefactors, Vice Presidents, Supporters, Friends & Guests to our themed Ladies’ Lunch, organised by our very own Kate (Barnesy) Barnes, who has also organised our own Ladies’ Lunch Bake Off, whatever that may mean ! … but, no doubt will be explained to us later by Barnesy ?!

Huge thanks go to PETER LINDSAY of SILCOCK DAWSON who is generously sponsoring today’s Match & Match Ball. Thank you Peter for your ongoing & most generous support.

For the first time this season, there are no other games here this afternoon at Woollams & there are no League games today for any of our other Senior Male Teams, ROMANS, generously sponsored by Peter Blake-Turner, GLADIATORS, generously sponsored by R & R Enterprises nor GRIZZLIES, generously sponsored by Peter Buttle of Buttle plc. However there is a “friendly” game taking place over at WELWYN RFC, kick off 1:00pm, between their 2nds & 3rds & our OA BA BAAS comprising certain Players from all three, ROMANS, GLADIATORS & GRIZZLIES … should be fun ?!

Tomorrow our glorious SAINTS, generously sponsored by IHS Markit, currently top of their League, the Championship South East 2, are away playing with their Counterparts from MEDWAY LADIES, who currently prop up the League. Last week our SAINTS trounced BECKENHAM LADIES 65-5 !

Here at Woollams tomorrow, sees a large number of our Junior Teams locking horns with their counterparts from TRING, SEVENOAKS, AYLESFORD BULLS, LEWES, KETTERING & CAMELOT from 10:00am on. Do come along & watch & support, you won’t be disappointed. They are our STARS of tomorrow !

I wish you all a most enjoyable experience here at Woollams, the home of OA Rugby.

Richard Milnes, OA RFC President

Head Coach's Preview

We return to Woolams this week hoping to continue our good run of positive results and keep the winning momentum going in our run in to Christmas.
Last week was pleasing to get 5 points on the road which is always difficult in this league. The performance was a little dis-jointed and it was evident that perhaps the week off had resulted in us being a little inaccurate in certain areas but as the game progressed we started to become more fluid in aspects of our play. It was pleasing to see us have a good platform up front and our scrum has really started to become a strength over the past three games and will be important again this weekend.
Birmingham & Solihull come off the back of a good performance against Henley and I am sure will have taken much confidence from how competitive they were against one of the top sides in the league. We will once again need to be on top of our game to get the desired result.
We welcome Tom Bednall back into the starting XV this week and have the added experience of Nick Stevens on the bench with Ewan Starling coming into the match day squad after his recent loan spell at Peterborough Lions.
We would greatly appreciate your support on Saturday and look forward to seeing you at Woolams.

Gavin Hogg, Head Coach

Match Day Team Sheet

1st XV League Table

1st XV Fixtures & Results

17th Nov 2018

Clifton 24

Old Albanians 31

Match Report

A match away at Clifton (a suburb of Bristol) must seem like a land of milk and honey to the visitors – non-stop sunshine, cider trees, unleaded at £1.19 and an opposition who have never beaten the club in the National Leagues – how sixth-placed OAs must have fancied a big haul from twelfth-placed Clifton.

Yes, it all seemed to go to plan, not just a four try bonus point for the visitors but an extra try to boot. However, they reckoned without the home side’s ability to twist the tail. They too scored four tries with their attendant bonus, but in doing so managed to creep within the margin of seven points difference to earn a further bonus point; the upshot being that OAs won the match 24-31, Clifton won the bonus point contest 2-1 and neither side changed their status in the table by a single position!

It is difficult to fathom the justification for a 7pt margin bonus point. At best it is a consolation prize and at worst it is a recognition for average or even downright negative play and ought to be replaced with a bonus point for an away win. Simple as that.

Not that Clifton were in any way negative, their industrious start pinning OAs on their line for close on a quarter of an hour was reminiscent of last week’s assault by Redruth; Clifton went one better and capped this pressure with a try by centre Chris Levesley on sixteen minutes, converted by No 10, Brad Barnes. This time OAs replied with a reply from hard-working openside, Tobias Munday, just five minutes later. This half Dan Watt was in no mood to slot conversions and failed to oblige again on the edge of half time when Alex Ricci shot over the line to make the half time score 7-10.

Undeterred, Levesley and Barnes’ boot answered back for Clifton on the resumption, 14-10, and the play and watchability improved every moment as an end-to-end contest, replete with errors and some tough calls in the loose ensued. OAs’ dominance was rewarded by regaining the lead through two tries in five minutes through replacements Ash Illston and Aaron Martinez bringing the side’s sole bonus point topped off with two monumental Watt conversions.

During this resurgence, wing Lloyd Anderson had been making ground with solid carries which went down blind alleys until the thirty-second minute when he at last broke free to score Albanians’ fifth try with Watt’s kick taking the score up to 31 points. For the home side the last five minutes were spent like the first fifteen on OAs’ line until David Hill broke the visitors’ resistance with a warmly applauded try and two bonus points to show.

Team – Morgan, Townsend, Hughes, Hamilton (c), Napier, Scopes, Mundy, West, Thompson, Wicks, Warne, Watt, Holdsworth, Anderson, Ricci | Subs – Martinez, Chamnaoui, Illston, Watson, Deane

Tries – Mundy, Ricci, Illston, Martinez, Anderson | Conversions – Watt x3

Nick Hallett, Roving Reporter

Recent Results & Upcoming Fixtures


Over the summer we've been running a feature on Social Media introducing players, coaches and officers of the club to the wider OAs family. We're going to be recapping them in our match day programmes. If you'd like to see more, please click the link below.

Jordan Harris

  • Year Joined - 2016/17
  • Position - Head Therapist
  • Nickname - Jords
"This will be my third season with OA's.
I'm very excited for the challenge of becoming Lead Therapist and tackling National 2.
Pre-season has started and the boys are looking very sharp, its going to be a GREAT year to be at Old Albanians."

Tom Holdsworth

  • Year Joined - 2016/17
  • Position - Centre
  • Previous Clubs - Exeter University, Taunton Titans
  • Nickname - Gangles
"This will be my second season at OA’s - we have a strong squad and a fantastic coaching set up. We’re all very excited to being our Nat 2 south campaign!"

OAs through history

We introduced #ThrowbackThursday on Social Media this season and are now including it in our Match Day Programmes.

2018/19 1st XV Coaching Team

Bruce, Gavin & James
Simon, Tom, Jordan and Leo

2018/19 1st XV Squad

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