On a blustery but dry day, the London Scottish U14s showed their mettle in beating Old Albanians 24-15.
In the opening stages, London Scottish made good ground from the kick off, recycling he ball, retaining possession, taking play up to the opponent’s 22. However, this came to nothing following a knock-on. From the ensuing scrum, Old Albanians showed their strength of running, eventually taking play close to the Scottish line.
Tackling was not perfect – too high at times – allowing the opposition to make the yards, but there was strong commitment from all the team, and a desire not to go behind: Old Albanians were kept from crossing the line. Pressure was relieved when London Scottish cleared the ball into the other half, from the ensuing scrappy play, Marcel picked up the ball and ran in the first try under the posts. Ethan converted to make it 7 – 0 after 14 minutes.
The game then ebbed and flowed; the Scottish defence was up quickly on the Old Albanian back-line stopping it from making any ground and forcing mistakes; also the back row started to close down the Old Albanian no.8, preventing him from getting-up a head of steam. Cameron, at hooker, disrupted the scrum with three heels against the head. However, simple mistakes crept into Scottish’s game; there were a number of handling errors on our own line which put us under unnecessary pressure. The defence remained strong, scrambling to stop the opposition from crossing the line.
London Scottish scored against the flow of the game; the ball was passed out wide, Mark on the wing, did very well to straighten up the line. He was pulled down just short of the try line. Thomas picked up from a few metres out and powered his way over.
At half-time it was 12-0.
In the second-half, the pattern remained the same: Old Albanians had much of the possession, eventually they crossed the line in the corner after 6 minutes, opening their account.
Scottish scored two more tries. Konrad going over after play was taken up to the Old Albanian try line and the ball was recycled. Then shortly afterwards, Marcel intercepted a looping pass and touched down under the posts, running in from the half-way line. Ethan added an extra couple of points.
Old Albanians kept the pressure on and scored a couple of additional tries, one in the final minute.
The final score was 24-15.
This was an important victory for the Scots: after a heavy defeat at the hands of Ampthill, this match was always going to be a test on how well the team could bounce back and play with a positive attitude. While there were still many mistakes and much to focus on, the rewarding aspect was the team’s mindset – they wanted to win and played like it.