OA Saints 19
Hammersmith and Fulham 5
The last two fixtures had seen the Saints collect injuries and play with just enough squad members available. Todays clash saw the welcome return of some players and the news that others are on their way back. Spurred on by this news the Saints started well against the visitors, who themselves only managed to bring a squad o 15 players.
Both teams blew chances to open the scoring in the first half. Saints especially guilty with their lack of fluidity. A tight game looked to be the way forward with few chances being created or finished
Half time approached, both sides were looking short of ideas and the coaches would have to motivate their players in the break.
Second half started well for Saints as they had found the gear and phases that were asked of them, Hammersmith’s defence was being tested, although failing to crack. One of the half time changes, Olivia Almond found her way through the defensive wall and past the covering tackles to finally a score, Robertson adding the extras.
Saints 7 – 0 Hammersmith & Fulham
The restart looked to be covered but a loose clearance gave the visitors a chance to pressure Saints, eventually causing enough chaos to score after several forward phases, conversion missed,
Saints 7 – 5 Hammersmith & Fulham.
Thankfully this stung the home side in to action and a return to the Saints of old, as phases and slick hands were starting to show, just that final pass!
The game was now opening up and after a strong run by debutant Pienaar, who offloaded to King for her pace to go past the cover defence and under the posts, converted by Robertson.
Saints 14 – 5 Hammersmith
Both side had the chance to score but with fatigue taking a greater toll on players, the game appeared to be over and the scoreboard gang could rest. It wasn’t long before Almond decided to run a lose kick back at the scrambling visitors defence, finding a gap, then feeding McKenna, who sprinted towards the line. The ball fell short but a kick pop to the oncoming King gave Saints another score with 3 minutes to play. Saints 19 – 5 Hammersmith.
The squad pushed on in search of the fourth try and bonus point, Hammersmith were not going to give in and the score ended 19 – 5 to the Saints.
Head Coach Brown said “after the previous two games, given injuries and unavailable players, I am pleased the squad came through a tough game to get back on a winning path, today certainly was not pretty, especially in the first half, think both sides were apprehensive given injury lists and last minute call ups. Second half saw us play a little more like ourselves and created clearer chances, which we took. A few bumps and bruises this week, but a few returning players and some rest will see us competitive at Beckenham this Sunday”.