Tom Little’s r eview of the rest of last weekend’s National League One action
Caldy 21 (4) 20 (1) Birmingham Moseley attendance 385
Cambridge 50 (5) 26 (1) Old Albanian 463
Darlington Mowden Park 41 (5) 35 (2) Bishop’s Stortford 894
Fylde 17 (0) 32 (5) Esher 380
Loughborough Students 34 (3) 34 (3) Blackheath 254
Old Elthamians 42 (5) 26 (1) Hull Ionians 253
Plymouth Albion 21 (1) 24 (4) Coventry Rugby highest 2898
Rosslyn Park 21 (0) 31 (5) Ampthill & District lowest 220
ROUND 26 saw Plymouth Albion lose their unbeaten home record to champions Coventry Rugby in poor conditions, the loss dropped Albion down to fourth place in the table. The battle over the final two relegation places goes on with defeats for Old Albanian and Hull Ionians doing them no favours.
Darlington Mowden Park maintained second place, but not without a close call at home to Bishop’s Stortford. The visitors surged into a try-bonus point lead before half-time of 28-17 as the home defence went astray. A much more focused second period saw DMP score four tries of their own as they took the lead. BS had the last word with a late try to seal their second bonus point.
Ampthill & District’s pack was on top early in the first half at Rosslyn Park and they held on to their lead over a home side desperately needing a win to move them away from the danger zone. In the end, another Park defeat leaves them just ten points clear of relegation, whilst Ampthill move up to third place.
Loughborough Students were unable to get the win necessary to move out of the final relegation place as they had to settle from a try bonus draw at home to Blackheath. In a high scoring and exciting game, it was home winger Jordan Olowefala’s hat-trick which gave LS a share of the spoils. The three points gained move LS to within three points of Hull Ionians and safety.
All Hull Ionians could do at Old Elthamians was gain a late try bonus point instead of the required win. Matters were not helped for the visitors as travel problems caused their late arrival and they soon went 28-0 down. Ionians are nothing if not dogged and a late fightback gave them a try bonus which may prove crucial at the end of the season. The win moves OE up one place to sixth.
A narrow home win for Caldy over Birmingham Moseley virtually seals their survival in their first season in NL1. Moseley who took an early lead and looked the most likely to win when they led 12-10 at half-time, but a nervous second period saw Caldy take control and move into a lead they were able to defend. The win takes the home side 15 point above the danger zone, with Moseley dropping one place to seventh.
Another side needing win to keep clear of the relegation zone, Cambridge managed a bonus point home win over Old Albanian. The home side went 19-0 down early in the first half and trailed 26-10 by half-time, but a strong second half saw Cambridge swing the tie back their way. The win moves Cambridge to 14 points above Old Albanian, still not safe but far better than it could have been, and leaves Old Albanian seven points away from safety.
Level on points with Cambridge are Esher, who also eased their relegation worries with a hard-fought away win at bottom side Fylde. Esher crept into a narrow half-time lead of 12-10 despite a nervous first period. They were able to exert more pressure in the second half with Fylde unable to take their chances. In the end a try bonus point win moves Esher ten points above the danger zone.