Old Albanian RFC Match Programme

Old Albanians vs Clifton

Saturday 17th November 2018

Clifton Rugby Football Club is an English rugby union club founded in Clifton, Bristol. Clifton is Bristol's oldest club, and one of the oldest in the world. Clifton Rugby Club was formed on 27 September 1872 at the Kings Arms on Blackboy Hill in Clifton, Bristol. The pub still stands, although it was rebuilt in 1902, and refurbished in the late 1990s.

Over the years the club's home games have been played in a variety of locations in northern Bristol, though never in Clifton itself; since 1976 they have been based at the southern end of Cribbs Causeway.

In 1909 a combined Bristol and Clifton RFC team, captained by Percy Down, lost to Australia 11–3. Clifton's Cribbs Causeway ground also hosted the Bristol Packers American football team in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Clifton currently play in the fourth tier of the English rugby union league system, National League 2 South.

Club Main Sponsor

Head Coach's Preview

After a well deserved break we return to league action with a tough away trip to Bristol to face Clifton. We go into the fixture on the back of two good wins, away to Worthing and at home to Redruth, where we arguably displayed our best rugby of the season. As has been mentioned in the past our biggest challenge will be to bring that level of consistency in our performances in the run in to the Xmas break that can hopefully see us string a series of positive results together.
Our defence against Redruth was excellent & along with a solid set-piece platform allowed us to bring more fluidity and variety in our attack play and is was pleasing for the players and coaches to execute some of the things we have been working on in training.
Clifton is always a tough place to travel to and they are a very tough side to beat on their home pitch and at times this season have certainly displayed good levels of attacking rugby that will certainly pose questions of us.
We have one enforced change this week with Tom Bednall not available so we welcome Johno Wicks back from injury into the number 10 shirt.
For those unable to travel to support we look forward to seeing you back at Woolams on the 24th Nov for our next home fixture.

Gavin Hogg, Head Coach

Match Day Team Sheet

1st XV League Table

1st XV Fixtures & Results

3rd Nov 2018

Old Albanians 27

Redruth 10

Match Report

This was the best Albanian showing of the season so far and if Gavin Hogg and his coaching team had wished their hardest they couldn’t have had a better outcome. Not only was the result an impressive five-pointer, highlighted in all the mayhem were sufficient matters to be attended to in the next fortnight to improve performance by some way.

The detail which will concern everyone the least (so long as standards are maintained!) is defence. And what a standard! Albeit with the wind and sun at their backs, for the first ten minutes of this bruising encounter OAs faced a rampant visiting assault and were camped on their own line for much of this period. Too often Albanians have been described as imprecise; in these early phases concentration was utter, decision-making unerring and execution unyielding as each Redruth wave crashed into a line which got stronger by the minute.

As has been noted often enough if a team spends an extended period of time in close attack and comes away with nothing it is not just the time which is wasted. A far greater amount of damage is done to the attackers’ morale and Ross Hamilton and his men set out to exploit that in detail.

Dan Watt opened his account with a straightforward penalty after twelve minutes as the positional advantage moved to the home side. Charlie Hughes work rate was inspirational and his tackle count would have seen him ostracised by any right thinking prop of the 1970s but Toby Munday matched him, hit for hit.

Scrum and lineout, both a worry at times in previous weeks, worked well against a bigger set of forwards and this had its own beneficial morale boost throughout the day. Quite simply defence just got better and better. Then a five minute burst probably sealed the encounter as Morgan Thompson tore in from close range for the first try. Watt converted and improved Peter Warne’s timely effort just after the half hour.

Tom Notman broke the Redruth ice just after the interval for Richard Kevern’s conversion but Watt was on hand once more to improve Tom Bednall’s neat score moments later. Kevern sought successfully to narrow the gap with a penalty three minutes on but visiting discipline had already begun to show cracks. Luke Hattam, Jack Oulton and Connor Gilbert were all sidelined by George Richardson as the second half wore on.

Tom Holdsworth accelerated through one of the widening gaps in front of him for the bonus point with most of the fourth quarter still to play. Watt, who had helped himself to three successful kicks could not quite manage the difficulty provided by the breeze.

All will rejoice in a comprehensive victory and will relish the week’s break before the trip to Clifton on Saturday week.

Team - Morgan, Martinez, Hughes, Hamilton (c), Illston, Scopes, Mundy, West, Thompson, Bednall, Warne, Watt, Holdsworth, Anderson, Watson | Subs - Bond, Townsend, Napier, Stevens, Deane

Tries - Thompson, Warne, Bednall, Holdsworth | Conversions - Watt x2 | Penalties - Watt

Brian Quinn, Press & Publicity

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.

Ashley Illston

  • Year Joined - 2018/19
  • Position - Second Row
  • Previous Clubs - Chinnor, Broadstreet
“After most of last season out with a concussion, I am looking forward to getting back on the pitch playing! When Gav approached me to join OA’s this year I jumped at the opportunity to join an ambitious club with a good environment. Looking forward to the season ahead and getting back into national 1.”

Tim Bond

  • Year Joined - 2016/17
  • Position - Second Row
  • Previous Clubs - Cambridge University
  • Nicknames - Bondy / Pascal Timbonda
"There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships, may they always be"

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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