OA Saints move another step closer to the title and glory after forward-dominated win
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 January 2019
Old Albanian Saints took another big stride towards the Women's Championship South East Division Two title with a hard-fought 32-19 win at Lewes Ladies.
The bonus-point success, secured with six tries, means they are five points clear of Hammersmith & Fulham at the top of the table with four games to go.
And with three of those matches against sides in the bottom half of the table, confidence will be high they can complete the job. The first meeting between the teams had ended in a 12-5 win for OAs in very wet conditions.
It was dry for the return on the south coast although this time a strong wind proved to be a major factor.
It led to a few wayward passes at the start as both teams tried to get a grip on the contest.
And it soon became apparent that this was going to be a day for old-fashioned forward play.
And the Saints pack delivered in style.
They got all six tries, something that will no doubt be recounted for many a year, as they kept the ball in tight, leaving the backs little more than interested spectators at times.
And they crossed the line four times in the first half and could have had more to show than just a 22-14 lead with three conversions getting caught on the wind and drifting wide.
The hosts had managed two seven-point hauls, one a penalty try, and they would manage one more unconverted score after the break as they battled to stay in touch.
But that only came after Saints had themselves crossed for five more points and with just a few minutes to go they mounted another charge, bringing the final unconverted score on the day.
Head coach Darran Brown said: “That was a satisfying win over a tough opponent, who focused on their brand of rugby and not ours.
“In parts we showed some good composure and skill although now and then we lost focus which resulted in the tempo dropping.
“But the squad are learning to find ways to win games even when not at our fluent best and demonstrating good character.
“I am pleased with the performance, which each week the players are building on.”
The first of those final four games takes place on February 3 when Old Elthamians are the visitors to Woollams.