Second Thoughts

Plymouth Albion players doing a lap of honour following the victory in the National Division One Match between Plymouth Albion and Ampthill at Brickfields, Plymouth, Devon on April 8 .  - PHOTO: John White/PPAUK

By Haden Tye

Whisper it softly, but Albion may not have yet clinched second-place in National League One.

Despite beating third-placed Ampthill at Brickfields last week, the Bedfordshire club could still overtake Albion – but for that to happen, a series of scenarios would have to come together which would make being struck by lightning look like an everyday occurrence.

There are two games remaining and ten points separate the sides after Kieran Hallett’s side won 19-14 at the weekend in their final home game of the season.

And this is where the statisticians get their calculators out.

If the teams were to finish level on points, then their league position would be decided by which team has won more games.

If the amount of games won is equal, then the league positions would be decided on who has the greater points difference.

If the points difference is the same, then whichever team has the greater ‘for’ would finish higher than the other side.

The following circumstances would have to happen for Ampthill to finish third:

Albion would have to lose both games by more than seven points and score less than four tries in both games and therefore not collect any losing bonus points.

Ampthill would have to achieve bonus-point wins in both of their final games to level the points and match the same amount of victories as Albion.

In doing so, Ampthill would have to overturn Albion’s greater points difference, which is 59 points higher. Ampthill’s points difference is 231, while Albion’s is 290.

If Ampthill managed to overturn the 59 points difference but not better it, then it would be decided by which team has scored more points.

Albion have currently scored 791, while Ampthill have scored 782 and therefore Ampthill would finish higher as they would have scored more points to make up the points difference against an Albion side that would have had to lose twice, scoring less than four tries.

Albion travel to Blackheath, who are seventh, on April 22 and Cambridge, who are 12th, on April 29, in their final two games, while Ampthill play Cambridge at home and sixth-placed Rossyln Park away.

Albion have won 11 consecutive games and have only lost two games in a row once this season after losing to Hartpury College at home and then losing to Rosslyn Park away from home at the turn of the year.

At least one more point please, Albion.