Old Albanian RFC Match Programme 22nd Dec 2018

Old Albanians vs Bury St Edmunds

Saturday 22nd December 2018

In 1925 Bury and West Suffolk Rugby Football Club took to the field to play their first game. Post war players used to gather and practice at Culford School but by 1963 the Club regularly fielded 4 teams from its new home in Bury St. Edmunds, at the Haberden with its 3 pitches and small Club house.

The Club went from strength to strength until tragedy struck with the loss of 18 members of the Club in a plane crash. They lost their lives on a Club trip to Paris. Understandably it took the Bury St. Edmunds R.F.C. and the Town many years to recover.

During the 1970’s the Club rebuilt its playing facilities and raised enough money to build a large new Club house which was further extended in the late 1980’s. In 2006 with the aid of a grant for the R.F.U. the Club added a state-of-the-art all Weather Pitch to its facilities, one of only four in the country.

In the mid 1980’s Mini rugby was introduced along with Youth games. Shortly after this the leagues were introduced into Rugby Union.

The development of the Youth structure has brought its rewards as in 2001 the 1st Team with many home grown players were promoted to London 3 North East. In 2007, the 1st Team again won the league and were promoted to London Division 2 North. Also in 2007 for the first time in its history the Colts won a National title taking the National Plate trophy at Franklins Gardens - the Home of Northampton Saints.

The Club continues to go from strength to strength, having been promoted to London 1 North in 2010, 3 years later they achieved promotion to National 3 SE, their then highest ever League status. Amazingly, after only 2 seasons, they were promoted again and now reside comfortably in National League 2 South.

Previous Match - 8th Sept - OAs 27 - Bury St Edmunds 39 (Home)

Old Albanian RFC & Bury St Edmunds RFC

Club Main Sponsor

Head Coach's Preview

We make our last trip of 2018 for an away fixture with Bury St Edmunds who will be in confident mood with a continual improvement in their performances over the past month.

We come off the back of a disappointing loss away at Henley which was played in atrocious conditions which has taken its toll on a number of players with injuries to Charlie Hughes, Nick Stevens and Morgan Thompson all ruling them out of selection and with a further late decision to be made on the fitness of captain Ross Hamilton, which will see us travelling to Suffolk with two extra travelling reserves to cover all bases. Our preparation this week has been disrupted and the players have been challenged to bounce back after last week's disappointment in what will be a very tough fixture in front of what will be a big home support.

With injuries and unavailability it provides an excellent opportunity for those players coming into the squad to take their opportunity and demonstrate the ability they have and for some of our senior players to ensure they lead from the front.

Finally we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our supporters a Merry Xmas and thank you for your support this year and we look forward to seeing you back at Woollams in the New Year.

Gavin Hogg, Head Coach

Match Day Team Sheet

Team sheet vs Bury St Edmunds

1st XV League Table

National League Two South, 22nd December 2018
Old Albanian Match Programme & Travel Sponsor - South Mimms Travel

1st XV Fixtures & Results

1st XV Fixture List - 2018/19

15th December 2018

Henley Hawks 33

Old Albanians 12

Match Report

This match was similar, in certain respects, to that played out at Canterbury a few short weeks ago. The weather was foul for the entire afternoon and for some strange reason Albanians acquitted themselves well in only one of the two available halves.

OAs kicked off out of the murk and within seven minutes were reduced to fourteen men when Chris West got a ten minute rest for a technical offence. During his absence Henley took the lead when scrum half Leo Webb dotted down at the end of a smart forward rush. Roddy Giles converted.

The rest of West’s sentence was spent with Albanians camped in the Henley 22 and when restored to a full complement they evened the score in similar fashion to their hosts, Zaki Chamnaoui the man over the line for Dan Watt to convert.

The visitors warmed to the task for the remainder of the first period and held the advantage in position and possession for most of this time. It was no surprise when they took the lead as Morgan Thompson charged over from the base of a dominant scrum. OAs were not disappointed with the half time score of 7-12.

It has been mooted that Henley had the best of the interval team talks since their attitude and application changed dramatically after the restart led by captain, and ex Albanian, Sam Lunnon. He it was who tore through an OA defence suddenly floundering for Xavier Andre to touch down. Giles conversion gave his side a lead they were not to lose.

Thus riled Albanians attacked the Henley set scrum in midfield and it was a tribute to the home back row that they managed to retain possession rushing backwards. Defence rapidly became very effective attack as the OA defence was ripped asunder once more and George Griffiths ended a move started on half way. Giles missed with the kick but Henley were now in the ascendant.

Chasing another attack scrum half Thompson was injured, seriously enough for the players to be ushered from the field by Mr Davies. Thompson was stretchered from the pitch and all were relieved to hear later that his subsequent visit to the Royal Berkshire hospital had been precautionary.

It was left to full back Sam Randle to embarrass the visiting defence once more for the bonus point try. Giles notched the final points of the encounter.

This week the season starts to unwind with a visit to Bury St Edmunds and Gavin Hogg’s men will want to avenge the defeat suffered at Woollams in September. Kickoff 15.00hrs.

Team – Hughes, White Martinez, Chamnaoui, Hamilton, Napier, Bond, Stevens, West, Thompson, Starling, Warne, Watt (c), Watson, Anderson, Ricci | Subs – Bond, Morgan, West, Hill, Calder

Tries – Chamnaoui, Thompson | Conversions – Watt

Brian Quinn, Press & Publicity

In other news...

On Wednesday night Woollams played host to the Herts Returning Students Festival.

10 sides played a 7s tournament with OAs entering an U19s, U20s and a BaaBaas side featuring players from the U21s and Academy.

The U19s won the Bowl Final while the BaaBaas won the Cup Competition.

A great evening and thanks to everyone who came down to play and support!

Recent Results & Upcoming Fixtures

Senior Club Results, Fixtures and Pitch Allocations
Woollams Playing Field Pitch Map


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.

Matt Ramzan

  • Year Joined - 2018/19
  • Previous Clubs - Tabard
  • Position - Front Row
Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits!

Alex Chalcraft

  • Year Joined - 2018/19
  • Position - Winger
  • Previous Clubs - Towcestrians
  • Nickname - Chal / Chally
This season will be a different experience for me having moved clubs for the first time. I’m looking forward to the new challenges with OAs and hopefully contributing to the clubs success this season.

OAs through history

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

Old Albanian RFC

Founded in 1924, Old Albanian RFC is an English Rugby Union Club playing in National League Two South for the 2018/19 season. We are a fully open and inclusive community club based at Woollams, the club’s home ground in St Albans, Hertfordshire offering some of the best playing and social facilities in the UK.

The senior club runs four men’s teams and an Adult Ladies side all playing in competitive leagues, in 2018 the club also launched an Academy for 17 to 23 year olds.

The junior club is one of of the largest and most successful Mini’s & Junior’s sections in the country with nearly 1,000 members playing week in week out between Under 5 and Under 18s, including a growing Girls section operating at 3 age groups; Under 13, Under 15 and Under 18.

Old Albanian RFC, Woollams Playing Field

2018/19 1st XV Coaching Team

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

2018/19 1st XV Squad

1st XV Squad - 2018/19

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