National League 2 South
Man of the match:
If OAs replicate their home form in away fixtures their stature in this League will improve somewhat. This was a comfortable win and Albanians scored a healthy six tries whilst conceding two to a Bournemouth side whose efforts belied their lowly table rating.
That said, much of OA’s performance betrayed a certain hurried bluster. When things slowed down and cool thought was applied the flow of play was a deal smoother, more controlled, more effective.
In tight phases, the hosts can be mostly happy with the day. The lineout functioned reliably as throwing and receiving largely corresponded. The scrum was dominant all afternoon and, considering the lack of weight, bullied a bigger pack. Remarkably two of the Albanian front row are still teenagers, not normally imbued with the grunt displayed!
Loose play needs tightening but, for the most part, defence was staunch. Twice concentration wavered and twice the visitors took advantage.
Morgan Thompson, dependable as ever at the tail of the scrum set the backs moving effectively throughout and he was on hand just after the break to score in his centenary game. Today he was a worthy man of the match.
Josh Hallett and Ollie Stonham were first over the whitewash and Joe Butler’s penalty and conversion gave a half time lead of 15-7. Skipper Jamie Townsend, Nic Defeo and Dan Watt crossed in the second period with two more Butler conversions.
Bournemouth made their mark when forwards Harry Leadbeater and Sam Hardcastle touched down either side of the interval, Grant Hancox converting both.
We spare a thought for Alex Chalcraft who was taken to hospital with an injury treated on field initially by the medical teams of both clubs. We hope the ambulance trip was merely precautionary.
Next week the club travel to Taunton where a sterner test awaits. Kickoff 15.00hrs.
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There are no previous fixtures between these teams.