Saints Draw a Blank
The season has seemed harder than it should be since well before the Christmas break and the Saints are well aware of this simply due to injuries and unavailable players.
A tough day was predicted and a tough day was had. Hampstead Ladies arrived at Woollams with a full squad to face a re-organised Saints side.
The home side started well controlling the tempo and territory with strong running and good link play, unfortunately the last pass was not executed well and Hampstead were able to clear the danger on several occasions. Saints ‘dump truck’ inside Centre Roz broke the gain line, smashing through on more than one occasion as did pitch Captain Mica Gooding creating yardage picking up from the base of scrum.
Gaining confidence from the Saints in ability to be clinical in the final decision, the away side struck first with a well worked try. 7 – 0 Hampstead.
The restart followed a similar pattern of Saints control, Hampstead defending well and forcing mistakes from which to build their own attack. Before half time the visitors struck again 12 – 0 Hampstead. Saints built the phases again and with some nice offloading from the backs. A miss-timed pass left an opportunity for Hampstead to turn the ball over and their ‘gassy’ 13 found open space which looked like an unavoidable try, until Openside Kate Skelton put in a key try saving tackle to lift spirits.
Half time led to the coaches having a chance to tweak some areas of play and hopefully hit the reset button.
Saints started brightly, but unfortunately a similar pattern of errors led to Hampstead again capitalising on poor execution to score a third try 17 – 0 Hampstead.
The visitors finished the day with a final score to run out 24 – 0 winners, a result they will savour for a long time. Special mentions must go to Laura Gott for her impressive work rate round the park and Mel Kimpton at 15 for her tackle commitment and support.
Head Coach Brown said after “losing a few key players during the game, along with missing a few for various reasons hit us hard, although giving us the opportunity to develop more squad depth, playing an organised and well coached side was always going to be a challenge. Hampstead are a good side and played to their strengths and forced our error count to be higher than our usual standard. We have some work to do, sharpen up in some key areas and continue our development as a collective. The players are disappointed; however, the coaching team and I could not fault their dedication and desire.”
OA Saints Club Captain
Match GalleryA very tough day at the office for the saints as we had many players missing yesterday always a physical game against Hampstead. Thanks to batters, Rachael Potter and Abi Maxwell for stepping in and playing for us. Huge get well soon goes out to my vice CC Jules who has fractured three of fingers in her left hand.
Photos courtesy of OA Saints Facebook Page.
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