Ben Palmers boot proved the difference between these two sides on this murky day. The fly half enjoyed a 100% return with two conversions and four penalties and Cambridge will have been disappointed to go away with just two league points having scored four tries in the gathering gloom.
However after a shaky start Albanians gradually asserted authority and crucially ensured there was no last minute Cambridge comeback, something seen uncomfortably often in this fixture of late.
The visitors’ scrum disintegrated at the first three times of asking but this did not prevent Stefan Liebenberg’s trademark tap-and-go from close in. Jack green converted but missed the second attempt after Mike Ayrton had shimmied his way over from the 22, the visitors having sorted out their tight scrum.
Cambridge No 8 Tom Nutley saw yellow for a maul infringement and Oliver Burgess pounced a minute later. Palmer improved and his first penalty narrowed the gap before James Ayrton charged over.
Jack Daly then emulated Liebenberg and Palmer’s magnificent touchline conversion tied matters at the break.
Palmer’s second penalty gave his side the lead for the first time three minutes after the restart only for Matt Hema to retake it for the visitor’s bonus point. Green again succeeded with the kick.
Mistakes proliferated in the final stages but Albanian pressure increased giving Palmer good enough field position for two more crucial penalties.
Albanians will have been relieved to overcome tenacious opponents but will have to reduce the error count when meeting Rosslyn Park at Roehampton next week.