TREDEGAR SURPRISE FOR ALBION – THE ‘SEAGULL’ SWOOPS.
Albion having thought they had played their last game of the season away to Clifton on Saturday 25th April 1981, winning 16pts to 12, found out that the following Thursday the 29th, they were to play Welsh side Tredegar, at Beacon Park. They were due to have toured Holland, but this arrangement had fallen through, and Albion’s Secretary Alf Nicholls was contacted by Tredegar, as the Welsh club wished to play a game “away” as a thank you to their players.
In the Albion side at Flanker, was Richard Catchpole, known to all his teammates as “Brain”, the former Club Captain (1979/80) was to hang his boots up at the final whistle. He was also referred to as “Seagull” for living off the scraps of opportunity that had led him to have scored 99 tries, would he reach 100?
In the first half, the visitors looked totally outclassed. Albion were heavier to a man, pushing Tredegar back yards in the set scrums, and the immediate dominance of the home side with their forwards running riot at times seemed to demoralise the visitors. In the 12th minute “Seagull” got his hand to the ball for Albion’s first try in a scramble following a knock-on by the visitors, thereby claiming his 100th try. Eleven minutes later they went further ahead with a penalty kicked by full-back, Kevin “Beaver” Turton. However within 2 minutes, the visitors full back, Mark Wilkins, also kicked a penalty.
In the 33rd minute, Albion were awarded another penalty, which Turton hit the post with. The visitors fumbled the rebound, and “Seagull” scored his second try leaving the half-time score 11pts to 3 in Albion’s favour. After the turnaround, Tredegar came more into the game causing Albion some uneasy moments, but there was no further scoring.
Quick breakaways by scrum-half and skipper Ian Lewis and clever smuggling by their forwards looked to give the visitors a chance, but Albion’s tackling was first-rate and their kicking accurate, and although the visitors were in the home half for a good 25 minutes they were lacking overall strength and cohesion. The final score was Albion 11pts, Tredegar 3, and Richard Catchpole ended his playing days on 101 tries.
15 K.Turton 14 C.Cooper 13 M.Triggs 12 R.Westlake 11 R.Perkin 10 S.Gibbens 9 B.Fairgrieves 8 S.Deasey 7 S.Harding 6 R.Catchpole 5 D.Venables 4 T.Chapman 3 R.Lawry 2 D.Fuge 1 C.Hocking. Replacements 16 P.Carter 17 R.Oliver.