Six tries in the first half from Old Albanians.
2nd 1/2: 12 – 7 to Barnes, who scored 4 tries in all. Only 4 teams have scored 4 tries against Albanians this season.
Early in the game Albanians ran the first penalty and sent their fullback Malins easily to the line. After some even play the visitors broke through the defence without trouble, starting with a run from their own 22, to score at 12 minutes for a 12 point lead. Four minutes later they broke the defence again for their 3rd try.
Next Barnes’ backs had their first decent attack and put the ball through several hands to put fullback O’Toole over at 19 minutes. An interception when Albanians tried to run out of defence led to Barnes’ 2nd try; the ball was recycled to O’Toole who dummied to go wide before scoring to reduce the deficit back to 12 points. There was nearly 10 minutes of stalemate then the visitors’ hooker broke free from a muddle of forwards in the opposition 22 to score at 33 minutes. Their next score came soon and easily after a dozen varied phases. The sixth also seemed to come easily just before the halftime whistle, giving Albanians an unassailable lead of 26 points.
Barnes started the second half better and opposition errors led to the platform for their third try from a line-out and drive by the forwards at 11 minutes. At 20 minutes Barnes' defence held when an Albanians attack got close to their line and then enabled them to break out. Later the visitors stopped a Barnes' attack that got to within 10 metres of their line then broke out into the other half. After that Barnes put together their best set of attacking phases finished by prop Wakeford forcing his way over at 69 minutes. Three minutes later, after Barnes had kicked back the restart, a handful of phases got Albanians the last try at the posts. 4 minutes after that a very good tackle dislodged the ball from Barnes' fullback's hands at the line.
The home team just secured Albanian's high kick-off then broke out of their half before kicking into the opposition 22. Albanians ran the ball back with 8 phases until Barnes forced an error to get the ball for a moment before being turned over. The visitors went wide and advanced then recycled twice to get the first penalty 15 metres into their opponents' half. They ran this sending fullback Malins to the line not far from the posts inside 3 minutes. The conversion missed.
Albanians returned the restart with a strong kick to just outside Barnes' 22. The line-out was thrown long and wind-assisted, was not straight. Barnes were penalised when the first scrum went down and the kick sent them back to defend an Albanians line-out 10 metres out. The defence held after 5 opposition phases to get a scrum put-in 17 metres out. The ball was got away under pressure and cleared to touch at halfway. Barnes were penalised at the line-out and the visitors kicked for a line-out just inside the 22. Again the defence held to get a penalty 11 metres out after 5 phases of attack. The kick took them to their line-out 16 metres inside their half. This was stolen and Albanians recycled the ball 4 times before Barnes hacked on as loose ball. The visitors ran this back from near their 22 breaking through apparently with ease for wing Allen to touch down near the posts at 12 minutes. Malins added.
Albanians cleared the restart to touch almost to halfway; the line-out resulted in their getting a scrum at about the same place. From that they released to centre; Barnes forced a turnover but almost immediately were turned over themselves. Five phases followed by an offload sent Allen over near the corner for his second at 16 minutes. A very good conversion by Malins made it 0 - 19.
The visitors returned the long kick-off to touch 14 metres inside their half. Barnes just secured their line-out and recycled close 3 times before letting the backs have the ball. It went quickly through several hands before fullback O'Toole touched down at the posts at 19 minutes and he added the conversion.
Barnes secured the high restart and replied with an up-and-under. Albanians dealt with this and put together 9 mostly close phases before an error was forced. Barnes soon kicked into the opposition 22. The visitors ran the ball and recycled about a dozen times, varying their options but not advancing much. Then they were intercepted; some yards were made then the ball was recycled into the hands of O'Toole, who had come into the line. He dummied to pass wide then strolled to the posts at 23 minutes to double his points tally.
Barnes secured the high restart and returned another up-and-under; they regained possession from an opposition knock-on. The ball was recycled to lock Collins who made a close break then the ball was recycled wide twice before the home team were penalised for not releasing 8 metres from the opposition try line. The kick took the visitors to their line-out 9 metres inside their half. This was stolen and released to centre by Barnes but soon dropped. A very good kick went into touch 5 metres from the home team's line. From their line-out Barnes kept the ball in and drove out of their 22. After breaking off and recycling wide the ball was recycled once before being kicked into the opposition 22. Two more kicks followed before an Albanians' line-out 3 metres into their opponents' half. The visitors released to centre then after a few close phases went wide again before the defence forced an error to get a put-in. From this scrum they got the ball away and soon kicked into the 22. Albanians cleared long to touch and Barnes took a quick line-out then kicked back into the 22. The visitors ran the ball before Barnes were penalised for a high tackle. This got Albanians out of their half to a line-out just past halfway. From it they went wide and made good ground to the 22; the ball was recycled once tight and once wide then from of a crowd of players hooker Miles burst out and ran to the posts and score at 33 minutes. Malins added.
The visitors cleared the restart long to touch; Barnes took another quick line-out and tried an up-and-under. Albanians dealt with this comfortably and put together more than a dozen varied phases before sending no. 8 Daish over wide out at 36 minutes. Malins added again.
Again Albanians cleared the long restart to touch 30 metres from their line; from the line-out Barnes released to centre then after an unplayable ruck got the next scrum put-in a couple of metres ahead. They got the ball out and after four close phases let their backs have the ball. After two more close recycles they were turned over and the opposition ran off to feed centre Lombaard wide out for him to come in to the posts. The halftime whistle followed Malin's conversion that made the score 14 - 40.
The visitors replied to the second half restart with an up-and-under. Barnes dealt with this and went wide then had a kick charged down. This resulted in a penalty against Albanians that was kicked to touch 29 metres from their line. From the line-out the ball was released to centre; Albanians' backs were up quickly and forced an error to get a put-in at about the same distance. From this their fly-half kicked out on the full giving Barnes another line-out. The ball was tapped and the opposition got it and advanced; after it was recycled once, Barnes held up a ball carrier to get the next scrum 13 metres into the visitors' half. After the scrum Barnes went wide, not advancing, then were penalised for not releasing after one recycle. Albanians' kick didn't find touch and Barnes ran the ball back with 6 phases mostly wide until forced into touch 18 metres into the visitors' half. An up-and-under after the line-out was dropped by Barnes; advantage was played and Albanians went wide and advanced until turned over. Barnes kept the ball close and advanced before an opposition player knocked down a pass and got a ten minute rest. The penalty kicked from 28 metres out went into touch 9 metres out. The drive from the line-out resulted in another penalty and another line-out, now 5 metres out. This time they drive went over with lock Collins on the ball at 11 minutes. O'Toole added.
Barnes responded to the restart with an up-and-under that the opposition dealt with then ran the ball. After 4 phases Barnes got a scrum at their 10 metre line after holding up a ball carrier. From that they made a good break going blind then recycled twice before Albanians forced an error 25 metres from their line. From the scrum the visitors broke out of their half as far as an opposition scrum 8 metres into the other half. From this one Barnes kicked for territory and Albanians ran the ball back strongly, after 2 recycles breaking through into their opponents' 22 then recycling twice close to get a penalty just back outside the 22. This was put into touch for a line-out 5 metres out. The drive was held; Albanians broke off and recycled close twice before the defence forced an error close to the line to get the next scrum put-in. From this they cleared to touch 17 metres out then after the line-out the ball was dropped at centre resulting in another Barnes' put-in, this time 12 metres out. Barnes kicked for territory then Albanians ran the ball and passed forward 6 metres into their opponents' half. Behind the next scrum O'Toole came into the line early and Barnes advanced into the other half and further with 5 recycles to get a penalty 26 metres from the visitors' line. This took them to a line-out 12 metres out then after it their drive was held. After breaking off they were turned over; Albanians moved up field with a couple of phases before breaking through at centre. After recycling and other break they dropped possession. Barnes kicked for territory; Albanians ran the ball before an error was forced to get Barnes a scrum 10 metres inside their half. From this one they went blind and put together their best set of phases, 12 in all with Collins prominent then finished by replacement prop Wakeford forcing his way over not far from the posts at 69 minutes. The wind took the conversion aside.
Barnes secured the high restart and kicked for territory. The visitors ran the ball and recycled 4 times close, two of those going blind then broke through with wing Speirs going to the posts at 72 minutes. Malins added.
Albanians knocked on receiving the restart giving the opposition a scrum 16 metres into the visitors' half. This was stolen against the head; soon after the scrum Barnes forced a turnover but then the opposition forced an error to get a scrum 28 metres from their line. After it Albanians kicked towards touch but into O'Toole's hands and he ran along the touch line until a last-ditch tackle dislodged the ball from his hands at the line at 76 minutes.
The visitors kept the ball in their 5 metre scrum and drove their opponents back to get a penalty 12 metres out. They kick to touch to 4 metres inside their half then went wide from the line-out. They advanced strongly to the opposition 22 where the ball was recycled once wide before the ball went into touch off an opposition player. After the last line-out the ball was dropped at centre before the whistle.
The game was played on a firm pitch at the Putney end that was used by the team for the first time this season. There was some wind from the east; it was cool and there was a little rain then warmer after the match.