As is often the case in OA’s roller-coaster season a good performance (as last week) is followed by something which leaves much to be desired. It would seem that Albanian’s away record is better than that at home and perhaps being ‘on the road’ suits the squad for reasons unknown.
This week Barnes, also having a varied season, stuck to their guns throughout an uninspiring match whilst their hosts managed to turn promising possession and position into opportunities for their opponents. Throughout OA passing, indeed positioning of players to take the ball into contact was either not precise enough or lacked a certain cohesion despite undoubted effort.
Barnes were workmanlike enough to capitalise on Albanian mistakes and used a capricious wind better than A’s.
All seemed well at the start as Albanians went through the gears but with 14 minutes gone Angus Farquhar turned his side’s first visit to the opposition 22 into points with a smart show and go! Robert Kirby converted. Another visit and this time Ryan Seabright gained the line for the fullback to add the extras.
Just 4 minutes remained in the half when Alex Noot opened the OA account wide on the right. The penalty count went heavily against the hosts all afternoon and Kirby ended the period by bouncing a possible three-pointer off the right hand upright.
The Albanian restart went straight to touch and Barnes duly capitalised with a drive and a score on the right. The Albanians came alive and Chris West put a neat cross kick into the hands of Elliott McPhun who outsprinted the defence, Jonno Wicks converting.
The visitors put the match out of reach in an eight minute spell when scoring their bonus point try. Kirby notched the conversion and two penalties.
Watt converted his own try as the match drew to a close but Kirby had the last word with his final penalty just before the whistle.