Albion’s Dirtrackers once again made a multitude of changes for this local derby. Newcomer Ponder came in to the centre with Willis on the wing. There was also a fresh second row pairing of Lewis and Worgan with the veteran Marsh starting upfront. Albion’s main aim was to prevent Morganians’ renowned driving mauls from gathering any momentum and this they did perfectly, denying the opposition their main weapon and even producing some good drives of their own. However, despite Albion’s preponderance of the ball in both the tight and loose, they rarely made much headway against an equally organised defence and when Morganians’ backs did secure the ball, they always looked dangerous.
Albion attacked strongly from the kick-off but a speculative Morganians kick out of defence found Albion’s defence adrift as the ball alighted awkwardly and Morganians scrum-half latched on to the favourable bounce to run in from half way for the opening seven points. Albion kept Morganians on the defensive with strong drives from Gibson, Buck and Frost. Apart from that opening score, it took Morganians some 31 minutes to gain a foothold in Albion’s half for the first time but Albion soon repelled that when Worgan burst through but his pass found a defender and the visitors cleared the danger. Just before half time Morganians making a mockery of their lack of territory suddenly produced an excellent concerted handling burst which produced a fine try for them at the posts which was duly converted to give them a 14-0 half-time lead completely against the run of play.
Morganians came more into the game generally in the second half but Albion still had the superior territory and possession. An excellent tackle by Ponder cut off the Morganians full-back in full flight after he had latched on to a loose kick. Albion were tucked in Morganians’ corners but could not free the last player for the vital score – the last pass often going adrift. Page burst up the blind side and dived over but put a foot in touch just before as Albion flung everything at seeking the elusive score. However from that line-out Frost typically went over near the posts for Page to convert and Albion were back in bonus point territory. However this was to no avail as Morganians stormed back from the kick-off and almost scored immediately. In the closing seconds Grimstead made ground from a Morganians’ scrum and sent his wing in for the final points thus denying Albion any rewards for their considerable efforts.
A disappointing result which now leaves Albion with their final match against Wyvern to redeem what has been a generally disappointing season.
Team: Walford; Knott Ponder Taylor Willis; Coates Page; Gibson Frost Buck Lewis Worgan Ruddle D Walker Marsh. Replacements: Used – Goddard T Walker Innalls McCarthy Rae. Unused – Berry Milburn.
Scorers: Frost – Try. Page – conversion.