Fugee’s Froback: Esher v Albion – 1982-83

October 5, 2023
Posted in Albion News
October 5, 2023 Albion

On 20th November 1982 Albion faced Esher at their Ground, Molesey Road in Hersham. So far in the campaign, Albion had played 15 matches, winning 13 with one draw and a defeat.

Ray Westlake was the club captain, while Dave Venables held the vice-captaincy. Roger Jewell led the squad as Head Coach, and Fitness Coach responsibilities fell to Naval PTI Alf Newman.

The previous week, Albion had taken a 6-3 win over Gloucester at Beacon Park. The team selected to play Esher showed six changes; neither No. 8, Steve Hughes or Centre Graham Pearson were available. Dave Venables deputised at No. 8, having been out injured with a trapped Sciatic Nerve, and making his Senior Debut in the Centre was the talented Salcombe Sailing Instructor Simon Gibbens. Albion were also able to welcome back their County Players: Fly Half Charlie Gabbitass, Scrum Half Kevin Cornwall, Loose Head Prop Chris Hocking and Second Row Gary Lovell. They replaced Paul Carter, Bruce Fairgrieve, Chris Rockey and James Sneyd respectively.

Unfortunately Albion were forced to make three late changes to the selected side when Gabbitass dropped out due to flu. Lovell was unavailable due to work commitments and Venables failed a fitness test. They were replaced by Paul Carter, Shaun Stevens and Sean Deasy respectively.

Conditions were good with the Pitch dry and Esher, having won the toss, elected to kick off. Albion were able to keep play in the Esher half and the Forwards were gaining some useful possession, especially from the Lineouts through Terry Chapman.

After eight minutes, Esher were awarded a penalty but Andy Cooke failed with the long range attempt. Esher spoiled effectively in the loose  but both Carter at Fly Half and Turton at Full Back kicked well.

By half-time Albion had taken a nine-point lead through a Turton try and a conversion and a penalty goal by Carter. Esher fought hard to get back into the game and they scored with 10 minutes gone –  a try by Doug Clare which Andy Clare converted.

Westlake then grabbed his first, to which Esher replied with a try from Clare. Cooke converted, leaving Albion 13-12 in front with 10 minutes left to play. Within five minutes of the Esher response, Westlake scored again having been passed the Ball by Scrum Half Kevin Cornwall, Carter adding the extra points. This proved the final word, with Albion running out 19-12 winners.

ALBION XV. 15.KevinTurton,14.Mike Newton,13.Simon Parford,12.Simon Gibbens,11.Ray Westlake (Capt.),10.Paul Carter,9.Kevin Cornwall,8.Sean Deasey,7.Kevin Norris,6.Andy Robson,5.Sean Stevens,4.Terry Chapman,3.Brian Steer,2.Ian Martin,1. Chris Hocking.