National Two South
The Albanian accrual of bonus points continued on Saturday in yet another narrow loss. This total of 20 is far more than any other club in level four but, whilst this helps to keep OAs in a mid-table position, there are no league trophies for coming second.
Leicester Lions had dished out a lesson in power and precision last September. This time, happily, OAs did not start in a desultory fashion, which has been somewhat of an unhappy trademark of late. Lions found each point of contact contested fervently from the off and, had this not been the case, the visitors would likely have amassed a decent lead in the opening stages.
It was still an indifferent first quarter for both sides and mistakes abounded in midfield. Albanians had already shown themselves more than competent to subdue the bigger Midlands tight pack so it was a surprise to see the number of penalties they conceded which led to the hosts defending a scrum close to their line. No 8 Ethan Godefroy slipped over the line almost unnoticed but the conversion drifted wide.
It was hard graft for both sides in attack and defence for the remainder of the first period but, despite great effort, neither outfit found a chink in the opposing lines. Joe Butler notched a penalty on the half-hour against the prevailing wind and the teams turned around with the suspicion that a 2 point lead was not going to be enough.
Lions added practice to theory with a concerted assault on OA territory which led to Harry Glynn’s unconverted try after 10 minutes and, thus stung, Albanians tightened discipline and performance, spending quality time in the Lions’ half. Then, with five minutes left in the third quarter and from the only generic three-quarter move of the day Jonno Wicks was put neatly through by Butler.
Two points were the margin and thus it remained despite the best efforts of rank and file. The final twenty minutes was spent mostly in midfield but there was mild panic in the Leicester cohorts as the clock ran down. Two penalties conceded, Lions back-pedalled to within a few metres of their line, defending frantically. Their labours proved good enough and a providential turnover allowed the ball to be scrambled into touch one last time.
Redruth is next week’s opponents for those who can make the long journey.
There is no gallery currently available for this fixture.
National League 2 South