Joy as final day success over Trojans seals an incredible championship for OA Saints

PUBLISHED: 10:16 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:26 10 February 2020

OA Saints lifted the Women's Championship South title after a 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams.

OA Saints lifted the Women's Championship South title after a 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams.

Archant

If you're going to win a league title that a dramatic final day success is probably the way to do it - just ask OA Saints.

A 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTSA 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTS

The Woollams-based rugby team went into Sunday's Women's Championship South contest behind Blackheath on points difference and ahead of Thurrock by a solitary point.

And with their two rivals facing each other in south London, Saints knew a bonus-point win at home to Trojans could well be enough to give them the crown.

A 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTSA 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTS

The bonus-point was eventually secured on 62 minutes and with news filtering through that Blackheath were trailing and not going to produce a comeback, they eventually lost 22-5, it was time to put the champagne on ice.

The final score of 37-0 was a fourth straight win, a sequence that including a 29-12 success over Thurrock in their penultimate outing.

A 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTSA 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTS

Skipper Mica Gooding summed up the sheer joy among the squad.

"It's brilliant," she said. "We realised in the second half of the season that the title was in our sights and we've gone for it, with our performances in the last few games having really shone through.

Laura Gott receives her player of the match award from OA Saints club captain Julia Holmes. Picture: OA SAINTSLaura Gott receives her player of the match award from OA Saints club captain Julia Holmes. Picture: OA SAINTS

"There's a great bond and we really work hard for each other.

"We all came together, especially in the last two games when we knew we could do it, and that's what we did.

A 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTSA 37-0 win over Trojans at Woollams took OA Saints to the Women's Championship South title. Picture: OA SAINTS

"We knew all the calculations after our last game but the first job was to get the win and then the bonus point would come after that.

"Getting the two tries early in the second half brought that into view and certainly made it achievable.

"And we smashed it and did even more than that.

"It was a really good performance and keeping them to nil make it even better."

The championship success is made even more impressive by the fact Saints were only promoted to the league, the highest you can go in England with the Tyrrells Premier 15s above a closed shop, one year earlier.

And their goals at the start weren't as lofty as the title, although they plan to use it as a springboard to further success.

Gooding said: "Coming into it we just wanted to do whatever we could. We had some players come back to us, we recruited some new players and have got so much more depth that we can now get a second team out.

"That is an ongoing project and they have their first game next week so hopefully we can build as a club and get them pushing to win trophies just as much as the first team."

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