OA Saints take on British Army in annual memorial match
Georgie Robinson Memorial Game
OA Saints 22
British Army 10
OLD ALBANIAN Saints hosted the fifth annual Georgie Robinson Memorial Match at Woollams on Saturday, writes Nicky Cameron.
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This match is played every year against the British Army in memory of OA Saints former second team captain Georgie Robinson who passed away in a car accident in 2006.
This was an emotional day for many of the OA Saints both past and present who had the privilege of knowing and playing with Georgie.
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The Saints were determined to do their supporters and the club proud and started the game well with some excellent runs up the middle from forwards Ellisha Dee and Cath Everett, the latter coming out of retirement for this special occasion.
OAs worked the phases well and gained excellent quick ball from the ruck for half backs Bethan Jones and Emma Nichol to release the back line into space.
The first points from the Saints came from centre Simone Shepherd who, after a strong run from winger Angela Wadham, cut straight through the Army backline with a great sidestep and powerful running to run unopposed underneath the posts.
Emma Nichol converted to make the scoreline 7-0 to the Saints.
The Army fought back straight from the restart to pin the Saints in their own 22.
After some quick ball, the Army managed to find a hole in the Saints defence to get some points on the board. The Army kicker missed the conversion with the score now 7-5 to the Saints.
The next score of the game came again from centre Shepherd who was causing havoc for the Army defence.
Fly-half Nichol created space behind the Army backline with a nicely weighted kick over the top for Shepherd to gather and score under the posts.
Nichol then converted the score to make it 14-5 in Saints’ favour.
From the next few phases, the Army showed their determination and creativity by placing a long kick deep into the OA Saints 22 and with an unfortunate bounce of the ball the Army winger caught it and snuck over the line to score.
The Army kicker missed the conversion again with the score at 14-10. The half time whistle blew soon after and both teams took the chance to make some changes to their teams.
The second half kicked off at a furious pace with both sides fighting to win the battle at the rucks and scrums.
The Saints scrum held steady and managed to steal a few against the head to put the Army side under pressure but were unlucky not to finish a few chances near the Army line.
The Army’s lack of discipline midway through the second half allowed the OA Saints fly-half Nichol to have an attempt at goal from about 22m out.
She slotted the conversion with ease to increase the lead for the Saints to seven points.
The game remained close with both teams getting some time in the opposition 22 and applying good pressure at the breakdown, but the score remained the same.
After a good few phases of pressure, the Army’s discipline let them down again as the Saints got a penalty and were able to clear their line with excellent kicking from centre Robyn King.
With some great lineout ball from hooker Jo Whitten the Saints used their forwards to suck in the Army defence with some strong running from prop Kat Brinsley and lock Jemma Knighton.
With centre King running some excellent lines in the centre of midfield the pressure finally told when the Army conceded yet another penalty.
This time, scrum-half Nicky Cameron thought quickly and took a quick tap penalty just inside the opposition 10 metre line.
She fixed the defenders with a dummy pass and accelerated through the gap to outpace the winger and full back and score over the whitewash.
Fly-half Nichol failed to convert the kick meaning the score stayed at 22-10, a gap which the Saints never lost.
The Army came back strongly and worked the phases well to use some strong runners in their centres and from forward pick ups at the breakdown but the Saints defence was immense and held strong, and at the end of the match stole the ball to kick to touch to finish the game.
OA Saints would like to thank the British Army for once again making the day a memorable occasion for all.
The Memorial Match and other events at Woollams were held to raise money for the Children’s Charity the Rainbow Trust.
To make a donation see the website www.justgiving.com/georgierobinson