The 4th XV finally managed to find opposition and faced a very youthful Welwyn 3rds side for the first league game of the season.
Despite having a several new members the team put together some tidy phases of play. The rucking was good- with possession generally being recycled.
After the forwards did the hard graft, the backs were eventually released for Dan Johnson to score with a neatly executed set move, crucially converted by Ben Simpson. Welwyn came back to level things but missed their conversion. After some heavy pressure on Welwyn’s line Alan Kirk picked and went over from short range. In celebration he released some strange guttural noises which scared team-mates and opposition alike. This left OAs ahead 12-5 at half time.
Welwyn started the second half strongly and took advantage of a dog-leg in the home defence to score but missed the quite straightforward conversion.
Trevor Hickey came back on after a short rest to score almost immediately by crashing over with three opponents on his back. Back again came the away team- sneaking over on the blindside as the home defence shunted their driving maul backwards. It was now 17-15 with ten minutes to go. And that’s how it remained. Most of the remaining time was spent in the Welwyn half, so victory was more comfortable than the score suggests.
Good pressure in defence from the backs was probably the deciding factor here today- Welwyn often panicked when faced with a rushing line of Albanians.
Special mention must go to the young lads playing up in the seniors for the first time- all acquitted themselves very well. The future’s bright.