Peter Gavin previews Worthing Raiders v Old Albanian

ROUND 9

Worthing Raiders v Old Albanian

27th October 2018 kick-off 3pm

Old friends and rivals Old Albanian are our visitors this Saturday having been relegated from National 1 last season. OA are no strangers to Roundstone Lane, they last visited in season 2015/6. We have played the club many times dating back to 2003 in London 1.

History & Background stuff

St Albans School, founded in 948 AD, making the school amongst the oldest in the country, is at the heart of OA. A few former pupils with the urge to continue to play rugby together formed the club in 1924. A farmer’s field, a WW1 barrack hut for a pavilion and boundless enthusiasm (and a few beers!) got the club going. Originally fixtures were played at a ground known as Beech Bottom, but a move was made in 2002 to the existing extensive facility known as ‘Woollams’. The 70 acre site is named after a generous benefactor to the School and former mayor of St Albans, Charles Woollam.

The club became ‘open’ in 1937 providing rugby for all not just for old boys of the School.

England stalwart prop forward Jeff Probyn started his career at OA.

The club put out 4 sides on Saturdays with Junior and mini rugby taking over on Sundays (900+ turn up!). Ladies rugby, OA Saints, play in Championship South East 2 and have finished 3rd for the last two seasons.

The club has a strong link to Saracens, who use the facilities for training.

Club colours: Maroon, Navy & Gold.

Raiders v Old Albanian

We have played OA at level 5 (aka London 1), level 4 (National 2 South) and level 3 (National League 1): Worthing were promoted to level 4 in 2008, with OA catching up in 2010. They pipped us for promotion to level 3 in 2012, but we joined them for season 2013/4. Raiders were relegated, but OA joined us back in level 4 in season 2015/6. They bounced straight back to level 3, but were relegated last season.

A summary of the results and league finishing positions:

2007-8:  OA 8 – W 27 / W 38 – OA 13 / W 2nd (promoted via play off) OA 3rd  

2010/11: OA 36 – W 27 / W 32 – OA 25 / W 8th OA 5th  

2011/12: OA 50 – W 24 / W 13 – OA 41 / W 3rd OA 1st (promoted) 

2013/14: OA 33 – W 20 / W 31 – OA 32 / W 15th (relegated) OA 10th 

2015/16: OA 27 – W 3 / W 24 – OA 31 / W 11th OA 2nd (promoted) 

Old Albanian last season… W9 /D1 /L20   54 points 15th

Despite winning 5 from their last 8 fixtures the writing may well have been on the wall earlier in the season as they had spent much of the time in the bottom 3. By early February (W4 D1 BP 9) they had accumulated 27 points from 22 fixtures played. The top points scorer was Tom Bednall with 129. Dan Watt also clocked up 71. Top of the try scorers amongst the players who have turned out this season was Joe Bridger with 6, Ross Hamilton had 4. Versatile half-back Morgan Thompson made 24 appearances, prop forward Charlie Hughes 23, lock forward and captain Ross Hamilton on 21.

Old Albanian this season… P8 /W4 /L4 (9th 20 points)…  (Raiders 8th 21 points)

OAs may have entertained thoughts of a repeat of 2016 with an immediate bounce back to National 1, but these may have been dented by four defeats already. They got off to a flying start with a win against promoted side Guernsey (59-5), but came back to earth with a bump the following week losing at home to Bury St Edmunds (27-39). A win at Barnes (24-33) and a solid performance (18-10) against possible promotion favourites Rams, denying them even a bonus point, set the pundits into rethink mode. However, the trip to Tonbridge Juddians saw another defeat (27-22). A win against Old Redcliffians (19-10) probably followed the form book, but a reversal at Dings (18-17) was a bit of a surprise although being a man down for 60 minutes or so will not have helped. Last week they put in a good display, with a much changed side, against Taunton Titans but eventually succumbed (21-35) to the strong Somerset team.

Players

As usual a list of the squad used last week against Taunton Titans is provided, along with details on a number of other players who have turned out so far. They have chopped and changed their starting line up somewhat, but the front row of Charlie Hughes, Jamie Townsend and Zaki Chamnaoui has remained consistent starting in all 8 of the fixtures. As would be expected there are likely to be a number of players from the Saracens U18/Academy in the squad.

It will be good to see Old Albanian back at Roundstone Lane as they are renowned to play a fast expansive game which should provide for another exciting, entertaining fixture …..Raiders A are also taking on OA Romans at Roundstone Lane to make for a busy afternoon…please try to get along to add your support from the touchline…it is greatly appreciated by the players…….C’Mon Raiders!!!!

Name, Age       *played V Raiders Apps 2018/9 Total N2 App Join Points Honours Position Previous Club/s & Apps                                                      * played v Raiders
20th Oct v Taunton          
Alex Ricci 4/1R 5 2018 1T Full Back: Leeds Beckett, Verulamians
Ned Warne (24) 5 5 2018 4T Wing: Exeter University, Exeter Academy
Dan Watt (25) (vice-captain) 7 37 2014/5 2017 2T/9C/ 3P Herts          England Counties Centre: Loughborough Students 12
Tom Holdsworth (24) 6 8 2017 1T England Students squad Centre: Taunton 6, Exeter University, Chiefs 7s
Lloyd Anderson 4 4 2018 1T Wing: Amersham & Chiltern
Johno Wicks 1 1 2018 Fly Half: Cheshunt
Morgan Thompson* (31) 6/2R 75 2015 1T/1C Scrum Half: Chinnor 27, Ealing Trailfinders 105
Charlie Hughes* (28) 8 172 2009 1T Herts LH Prop: Hemel Hempstead, Saracens A
Jamie Townsend (27) 8 8 2018 Wasps 7s Hooker: Richmond 2, Chinnor*83, Harlow,
Zaki Chamnaoui (23) 8 8 2018 1T TH Prop: Henley Hawks*8, Harrow, LIWG*28, Ealing Academy/U23
Ashley Illston 5/2R 7 2018 Lock: Broadstreet, University of Gloucester, Chinnor
Chris Napier 5 5 2018 Lock: Ballynahinch, Ulster 1
Tobias Mundy (18) 4/1R 5 2018 1T BS Wing Forward: Harrow School,  Saracens U18
Alfie Scopes (18) 3 3 2018 OS Wing Forward: Judd School, Saracens Storm & U18
Chris West 4/1R 12 2018 1T Herts No8: Ampthill 3
Bench
Harry Morgan (18) 0/3R 3 2018 Prop: Saracens U18
Aaron White-Martinez 0/5R 18 2017 Prop:
Alfie Hill 0/1R 1 2018 No8: Ealing Academy
Mike Hogan 1/1R 1 2018 Wing: Leicester Lions 23
Tom Smith (19) 1/2R 8 2017 Herts Centre: Saffron Walden
Played Recently Last Play
Charlie Watson (18) 5/1R 6 2018 13/10 Full Back: King’s Canterbury, Saracens U18
Alex Gliksten (20) 3/2R 33 2016/7 2018 13/10 Scrum Half: Finchley, Chinnor* 9, Saracens 1, Bedford Blues
Ross Hamilton* © (30) 4/1R 149 2009 1T 13/10              Herts Lock: Barnstaple 5
Tim Bond (26) 5 30 2016 1T 13/10 Lock: Cambridge University (Blue 2016)
Alex Brown (24) 5 5 2018 2T 13/10                Red Card OS Wing Forward: London Scottish
Mike Bond 0/3R 5 2018 13/10              Herts U20 Prop:
Nick Stevens* (33) 2/3R 90 2011 6/10                Herts OS Wing Forward: Luton, Tring
Tom Bednall (25) 4 39 2017 1T/8P/ 10C/1DG 6/10 Fly Half: University of Cape Town, UCT Ikey Tigers
Adam West 1/1R 2 2018 1T 6/10 No8: Harrow
Joe Bridger 2 22 2017 29/9 Wing: Stourbridge 45
Taylor Reed (20) 0/3R 35 2016 22/9 LH Prop: Saracens U18, Bishop’s Stortford
George Bartlett 2 2 2018 1T 22/9 OS Wing Forward: Amersham & Chiltern
Alex Noot (18) 4 4 2018 4T 22/9 Full Back: Saracens U18
Alex Chalcraft 3 3 2018 2T 15/9 Wing: Towcestrians