On behalf of OLD ALBANIAN RFC I extend a very warm welcome to you all today in particular the Players, Management, Officials & Supporters from DINGS CRUSADERS RFC.
DINGS come to us sitting 11th in the League with, like us, 9 wins so far this term, just three points & two places below us.
Although DINGS won the try count three to two last week against Barnes they came away with only a losing bonus point. Four weeks ago, DINGS came very close to beating high-flying Henley Hawks just losing out 10-13 when the final whistle blew. When our Teams met at Shaftesbury Park back in October DINGS beat us 18-17 coming from 8-17 down with under 10 minutes to play in an exciting 6-try thriller (3 tries each). Both Clubs are at the wrong end of the Table and so, with both Teams needing to pick up points, it’s going to be another “nail-biter”! Let’s all hope today’s game is played in the best possible rugby spirit, free from any serious injury.
Huge thanks go to Visionary Accountants who are generously sponsoring today’s Match & Match Ball. Thank you Chris Jackson for your ongoing & most generous support.
Our ROMANS, generously sponsored by Peter Blake-Turner, our GLADIATORS, generously sponsored by R & R Enterprises, and our GRIZZLIES, generously sponsored by Peter Buttle of Buttle plc, all have a “free” weekend ! ... a relaxing time to rest those tired limbs ?!
Last Sunday our glorious SAINTS, generously sponsored by IHS Markit, took on & beat Sutton & Epsom Ladies in the Quarter Final of the RFU Women’s Intermediate Cup winning 27-5. They are now in the Semi-Final which takes place on Sunday 24 March, venue & opponents yet to be determined !
Tomorrow, it’s back to the League with our SAINTS, who currently top the Women’s Championship South East 2 with 45 points, eight clear of second placed Hammersmith Ladies, locking horns with their Counterparts from BECKENHAM LADIES, who currently sit in seventh place having amassed a total of 17 points so far this season. Our SAINTS would love your support ... so, if any of you are down Beckenham way please go along and give rousing support to our “Gals” ! ... kick off 2:00pm.
Tomorrow, here at Woollams, sees our 900+ Minis & Juniors take to the pitches from 10:00am. Do come along and watch our Stars of future years. It’s always a great morning of rugby activity.
I wish you all a most enjoyable weekend of community rugby here at Woollams, the home of OA Rugby.
Richard Milnes, Club President
It took little more than five minutes for this drama to start wearing at the heartstrings of home supporters when Albanians lost possession almost on the Worthing line with a try seemingly in the offing. 100 metres later flying Raiders left wing Harry Barlow touched down for the first of his three tries; and this hattrick was only interrupted by Kiba Richards, ex centre, now No 8 who dotted down with eighteen minutes gone.
Matt Mclean converted Richards’ effort and Barlow’s third so that just after the end of the first quarter OAs stared into the abyss at 24-0. Even Wales hadn’t faced such enormity against France a few weeks ago!
Somehow the hosts came to realise their scrum and lineout was working and just maybe this could be used as a base to claw back at least part of this enormous deficit.
Charlie Hughes started the fightback on the half hour and Tobias Munday added two more tries before the break, Dan Watt converting twice. It’s not often 43 points are scored in a single half and even more amazing that the two sides appeared almost to take it in 20 minute turns to tilt at each other’s line.
In perfect keeping with the events of the first period Harry Morgan notched the bonus point try five minutes later and, as bemused supporters from both sides rubbed their eyes and wondered vaguely if the drink had been spiked, McLean nudged his side in front once more with a penalty.
The hour struck and so did Tim Bond restoring the slight home advantage, improved ten minutes later by Watt’s sixth OA try. Ten minutes to go and an unlikely seven points profit seemed to be the final reckoning for Albanians. Visiting outside centre Jack Forrest had other ideas and he crossed close enough for McLean’s final equalising kick.
You can’t criticise the entertainment value of an eleven try encounter but nobody queued up at the end to take the prize in the guess the score competition!
Recent Results & Upcoming Fixtures
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.