By Haden Tye
Kieran Hallett praised his young Albion side for coming through another tight encounter with a win against Ampthill and says that the more games that his side win at a young age, the better they will be in their peak.
Albion beat Ampthill 19-14 at Brickfields to secure a second-place finish in the National One, and Kieran was impressed with the work ethic and attitude shown by his team as they marched on to an 11th consecutive win, which bodes well for next season.
“That is why you leave those young guys in there,” said Kieran. “To learn from those experiences. It’s the same as last week. The more games like that they can win at a younger age, the better they will be when they come mid-twenties.
“I am really pleased with how they fronted up. I don’t ever have to question their character or their work ethic. It’s unbelievable what they do week in week out and I am incredibly proud of how we have played at home this season.”
At the end of a tight first-half, Ampthill took the lead with a converted try, but Albion replied almost instantly to leave the scores level at the break. Albion then led the visitors, who levelled just before the hour-mark, but with just over five minutes to go, a Rupert Cooper try gave Albion the victory.
“[It was] very tough,” said Kieran. “We knew Ampthill would be tough and give us a real physical game and we got that. At times when we got our tempo and rhythm right in how we were attacking we played some really really good stuff.
“Again, some individual errors and composure close to their line cost us a couple of tries which would have made it more comfortable. They opened us up a few times which hasn’t happened for a few weeks. It was an interesting game to watch and I am glad we came out on the right side of it.”
The result means that Albion will definitely finish in second-place. Whilst only one side gets promoted from National One and Kieran’s side had not aimed for second-place, Albion’s player/coach was satisfied that his team had beat Ampthill to finish higher in the league than there opponents. As always, Kieran was keeping one eye on the future.
“Yes, it is nice,” said Kieran. “It is not something we have really aimed for. It’s a nice thing to have but we have still got two games to go and we want to win both of those as well as keeping an eye on moving forward with what we are doing. Yes, it is nice to have, but we’re not going to celebrate that too much.
“It is great to see a big crowd here today. That’s fantastic. I know the weather helps but hopefully people are starting to come back and we are getting more bums on seats and hopefully that is a reflection of how we are playing. It does make you excited for next year. The boys are all excited and I am excited and hopefully that is rubbing off on everyone that is coming to watch.”