Plymouth Albion 13 v Blackheath 3. Saturday 2nd March 1991
Albion took their first steps away from the foot of National Division Two at Beacon Park with a crucial win over fellow strugglers Blackheath. Defeat by the visitors would almost certainly have condemned Albion to 3rd Division rugby next season. The victory allowed Albion to climb three places off the bottom and be on 4 points, but they are not out of danger yet, as four other teams are also on four points. Richmond, Bedford, Blackheath and Headingley – Richmond, Bedford and Headingley all have a game in hand.
The match was played in muddy windswept conditions, and tries were always going to be hard to score. Only one try was scored that day and that was by Albion. The match was only two minutes old when the visitor’s full-back, Colin Parker kicked a penalty, and for the next 15 minutes, Albion were under constant pressure. However, slowly Albion began to come more into the match and by halftime New Zealand Flanker Duane Monkley had scored a try.
In the second half, John Butcher added three penalties, with the third one going in off the post. His opposite number Parker had one attempt, but the ball drifted wide. Unfortunately for Albion scrum-half Crispin Read badly damaged his knee ligaments in his left leg and was taken straight to the hospital. It was later found out that on Saturday evening Crispin was operated on and will not play again this season.
Nigel Sparrow, Albion’s Coach, commentated, ” I do not think either side played with finesse, but what won it for us was effort, commitment and attitude. The result has done a lot for team morale but let’s not get carried away, we have Coventry next week”.
15.John Butcher, 14.Steve Walklin.13.Kevin Turton.12.Barry Vallance. 11.Bob Penfold.10.Martin Thompson.9. Crispin Read.8.Ian Russell.7.Duane Monkley.6.Adrian Bick.5.Mark Wesson.4.Bob Armstrong.3.Paddy Brookes.2.Keian Courtenay.1.Greg Evans. Replacements,16. Kevin Norris.17.Jim Mayne.18.Mark Hewitt.