OA Saints lose out to champions Blackheath

Emily Coleman was Saints' forward of the game for her excellent line out throwing and physical prese

Emily Coleman was Saints' forward of the game for her excellent line out throwing and physical presence around the field. - Credit: Archant

OLD Albanian Saints need to win their remaining fixtures against Hampstead, Oakmeadians and Richmond 3’s to hold onto second place in their league after Sunday’s loss to Blackheath.

The first half was a very close affair with Blackheath camped out in the Saints’ 22 for the majority of the half. The host’s forwards used the set piece to their advantage and put the Saints under pressure early on.

Strong tackling from centre Jodie Rettie and flanker Kate Barnes, who led from the front, ensured that the defensive line was not breached and Blackheath were unable to make use of their territory.

Second row Mica Gooding and number 8 Emma Cramphorn helped generate much needed Saints momentum with some strong ball carrying, however they struggled to clear their lines with a strong wind against them.

Fly half Nicky Cameron and centre Robyn King did their best with some accurate clearance kicking which relieved some pressure. Blackheath worked the width of the pitch linking forwards and backs play which meant that back three of Sophie Tyler, Ally O’Donovan and Katie Robertson were vital in making some last gasp cover tackles.

The ball was used well by the Blackheath backs to work their way up the pitch which in the dying minutes of the half resulted in the first score of the match. The conversion was missed to make the score 5-0.

The Saints came out fighting in the second half eager to even the score. This was evident in some strong running and good heads up rugby from centre Robyn King and prop Millie Fuggles.

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The ball was used much better by Saints as they linked together more phases and put Blackheath under pressure. However, Blackheath had the last score of the game with a controversial dive over try in the last 10 minutes.

OAs were close to getting their own score in the final move of the game when the ball found its way out to the wing only for a knock on to occur and leave the Saints empty handed.

Both teams fought hard in a tough encounter with Blackheath winning the game and the league.