MATCH REPORT: Plymouth Albion vs Rosslyn Park




The 1st XV fell to defeat on the south coast as the final match of the season produced a 9-try thriller that went right down to the wire.

The 1st XV got off to a hot start, putting the Plymouth defence under some early pressure and bringing play down deep into the opposition 22. After a powerful pick-and-go by Jake Cleet saw the second row stopped just short of the line, a quick-thinking Ewan Fenley sniped from the base of the ruck to dot down over the line.

The hosts levelled the score 10 minutes later as Scott Makepeace crossed over after a tap-and-go penalty, but this drew an immediate response from Park in the form of a lovely Joe Luca Smith try. Following a big carry in midfield from Henry Spencer which marched the hosts back, Park set up a move in midfield which saw Matt Bolwell make a half break before offloading to Tom Stanton. The centre coolly executed a simple draw and give to beat the last man and send Smith away untouched under the posts.

It was then Plymouth’s turn to provide a quick answer back as Jack Oulton crossed over from the back of a maul just three minutes later, however it was the 1st XV who would have the final say in the half. Josh Pieterse brought a strong first 40 minutes to a close in style as he picked and went following a big Jacob Wrafter carry and shrugged off multiple would-be tacklers on his way to the line.

Unfortunately, substitute Harry Wilkinson changed the tide for the home side in the second half as the front rower secured an impressive hattrick, his first try coming from the back of a maul and his second on a well-ran hard line which helped Plymouth to take the lead for the first time in the contest.

The 1st XV edged back in front with 15 minutes left to go when Isaac Miller rode a maul over the hosts tryline before Patrick Kelly slotted his fourth conversion of the day to remain perfect from the tee. But it was not to be for Park as Wilkinson’s third score in the dying seconds of the match helped Plymouth rescue a win and secure a 4th place finish for the side from the south coast.

Referee: Matthew Sharpe


Tries: Fenley (3’), Smith (15’), Pieterse (37’), Miller (66’)
Conversions: Kelly (4’, 16’, 38’, 67’)
Penalties: N/A
Yellow Cards: N/A

Team: Pieterse, Miller, Wade, Cleet, Spencer, Bolwell, Ellis, Wrafter, Fenley, Kelly, Marfo, Gordon, Stanton, Trimble, Smith

Replacements: Cameron, Hay, Gillanders, Hosking, Glover


Tries: Makepeace (13’), Oulton (18’), Wilkinson (52’, 60’, 79’)
Conversions: Shortland (14’, 53’, 61’, 80’)
Penalties: N/A
Yellow Cards: Oulton (31’)

Team: Boughton, Mead, Pullinger-Ham, Clemson, Makepeace, Bond, Clarke, Hodges, Oulton, Jones, Stone, Hill, Hoffman, Brown-Bampoe, Putt

Replacements: Raumakita, Davies, Wilkinson, Wiggington, Eastgate


Birmingham Moseley 39 – 31 Rams
Blackheath 32 – 47 Taunton Titans
Cinderford 22 – 27 Bishop’s Stortford
Darlington Mowden Park 40 – 42 Chinnor
Richmond 50 – 18 Sedgley Park
Sale FC 14 – 23 Leicester Lions

The final round of the 2023/24 season in National One saw Moseley and Richmond pick up big ins at home against Rams and Sedgley Park respectively whilst DMP and Chinnor wrapped up their seasons with a 12-try thriller in which the champions escaped with a narrow victory. Elsewhere, Stortford, Leicester, Taunton and Cinderford took part in a riveting, final-day battle for survival. In the end, Stortford’s narrow win away at Cinderford proved enough to ensure the Hertfordshire outfit’s survival despite impressive victories for Taunton and Leicester at Blackheath and Sale.