Plymouth Albion v Moseley,
at Brickfields , National League Division 1,
Saturday, 18th Oct 2008, k.o. 3.00 pm
For more than seven hundred years Plymouth’s fortunes have been linked to
Here began the voyages of the great Elizabethan sailors, Raleigh, Frobisher
and Sir Francis Drake, who defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Pilgrim
Fathers sailed from Plymouth in 1620, as did the explorer and map maker
James Cook in 1772. In the Second World War the Naval Dockyard at Devonport
was the largest dockyard in Great Britain.
Plymouth Albion Rugby Club was formed in 1876 by a group of apprentices from
the dockyard. Rather than take the name ‘Devonport’, such was their
enthusiasm and confidence that they called themselves ‘Plymouth’ and added
‘Albion’ to emphasise British patriotism in this predominantly naval area.
Plymouth’s supporters rouse their teams to action with the ‘Plymouth Drum’.
The club’s current ambition was made clear by the move in 2003 into
Brickfields Stadium (capacity 8,400) at Brickfields Recreation Ground, back
to their Devonport roots after eighty-four years at Beacon Park.
The Albion gained promotion to National League One at the end of the 2001-02
season and in the first season there, a ninth position was obtained. Since
then and up to 2006-07 the club has never finished less than sixth although
last season fell back to eighth. Such an impressive string of results could
only have been achieved by a full-time professional team backed by strong
support. Home gates regularly exceed three thousand, with well over five
thousand for games against the Cornish Pirates.
In the close season, however, Graham Dawe, Plymouth’s Director of Rugby,
lost several key players, notably his free scoring French winger Nic
Sestaret, to Exeter, and questions were asked about the potential for the
present campaign. Last season, in November 2007, Moseley lost to the Albion
10-29 at home but in April this year had a notable away win at Brickfields,
16-13. Last Saturday Plymouth lost at home to Exeter 14-41 and consequently
occupy tenth place in National League One on 15pts, two places below
The middle positions of the league are very congested at present. Rotherham
and Moseley are on sixteen points although it has been reported that the
Titans have had four points deducted for fielding an unregistered player
and, if so, will drop down to twelve, below Cornish Pirates and Plymouth
Albion both on fifteen points. Any points against these sides will therefore
have a major impact on all our relative league positions.
The result of the game will depend in many ways on how well Moseley can
overcome the disappointment of losing to Nottingham at Billesley so late in
the game, after a much improved performance. It is a long coach drive down
to Plymouth, which unfortunately provides too much time to reflect on what
might have been.
Plymouth Albion - Ground guide