Ampthill come to town on Armed Forces Day

Dan Pullinger of Plymouth Albion is tackled by Ben King of Old Elthamians,   during the National Division 1 match between Plymouth Albion v Old Elthamians at the Brickfields Recreation Ground, on October 21st  2017, Plymouth, Devon, UK. PHOTO: Sean Hernon/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion are holding a special Armed Forces Day on Saturday, November 11, when they welcome Ampthill & District to Brickfields for their National League One fixture (KO 3pm).

Last weekend Albion could only manage a draw away at Rosslyn Park, leaving them fourth in the table, while Ampthill romped to a 33-7 bonus point victory against Old Elthamians, boosting them to second place.

Head coach Kieran Hallett says: “We started really well and could arguably have had another score before half-time which would have put us in a better position.

“When you are only two scores up you are a bit vulnerable.

“Immediately after the game I was pretty frustrated but, having watched it back, we did a lot of good things. Individual errors at key times let us down again.

“Defensively we gave away too many penalties and panicked under pressure. It is a game we should have put to bed but we gave them ways to get back in.”

Despite his initial disappointment, Hallett was encouraged by elements of the team performance. He says: “When we held on to the ball for periods of time we put them under pressure.

“We are so close to getting it right. Every game has been close and we are three points away from being unbeaten this season. We know we are capable of putting these teams away, but individual players are not performing to the standards that they need to – and that is hurting us.”

Hallett recognises the scale of Saturday’s task against Ampthill, who finished in third last season, one place below Albion.

“It is a big home game and there is no getting away from that.

“We are only at the beginning of November, but if we have got ambitions to be in the mix at the end of the season then we need to be winning today’s game.”

Designated a special Armed Forces Day by the club, current members of the Armed Forces will be given free entry to the ground on production of ID.

Hallett adds: “It is Remembrance Day which is important to the club and the city with all its military links so it is going to be a big occasion.”

Albion is also playing host to members of the Air Training Corps and children from Pennycross School who will provide a half-time demonstration of the Junior Field Gun run.

Under 9 mini rugby squads from Saltash, Plymstock Albion Oaks and Totnes will also be attending as part of the club’s community programme, in partnership with Babcock.

Major club sponsor Brunel Recycling will be promoting their Movember campaign in aid of men’s health featuring fly half Dan Mugford.

This week the pack is boosted by the return from injury of forwards Sean Lonsdale and influential back row George Mills.

Eoghan Grace takes the number eight shirt and retains the captaincy in the absence of Herbie Stupple, while highly-rated flanker John Kelly is given his second start of the season.

The backs are unchanged from last week with Jack Arnott at full back and Setareki Raumakita moving out to the wing.

Plymouth Albion team to face Ampthill & District at Brickfields, on Saturday, November 11, (KO 3pm):

15 Jack Arnott, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Dean Squire, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Setareki Raumakita, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Joe Snow, 1 Will Norton, 2 Rupert Freestone, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 Dan Collier, 6 John Kelly, 7 George Mills, 8 Eoghan Grace (Captain).

Replacements

16 Marcus Street, 17 James Salter, 18 Daniel Swain, 19 Cameron Setter, 20 Matthew Shepherd