National League 2
As a kindly host at ‘Club’ was to mention later OAs won the last hour of this exciting match 21-14. Unfortunately for the travelers they had conceded 19 points in the first quarter (seven of them from a penalty try) and this probably put paid to any ‘double’ ideas the men of Hertfordshire might have had.
It could be argued that the two yellow cards issued in short order at the very start of the encounter helped Blackheath to victory. That’s true; but if you are more precise in the modern game players tend to stay on the field for the entire match.
Restored to a full complement Albanians set about redressing the balance and pressure at the other end of the field forced the hosts to concede a penalty try of their own. Then Alex Noot and Tom Stileman put Elliott McPhun clear. Noot converted to leave the interval margin just five points.
The third quarter belonged to the visitors but only in territorial gain. A smart 50/22 put Albanians deep in their opponents’ half and there they stayed for fully twenty minutes. Alas when you spend time close to your goal you have got to make it count and the Blackheath defence held firm. Ultimately an interception allowed centre Burcham a path to the OA posts. Ffitch converted to widen the gap to 12 points and all seemed to be settled.
Not a bit of it and Kemp Price’s superb handling brought him the reward and Noot obliged with the extras. Once more OAs were just five points adrift.
But an ‘As’ fairytale ending was not to be and it was just two minutes from no side when James Catt added Blackheath’s fifth and match winning try.
Albanians can feel proud of their efforts and next Saturday again travel South of the river to face Barnes who had a substantial win against North Walsham and are seven league points in front.
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