Saints 1st XV 25pts – Ardrossan Accies 7
The conditions at Park Farm on 1st February were not “horrendous”. They were worse than taht! It was bitterly cold, unbelievably wet and with gale force winds. One “hardened fan” commented after the game “I have been playing and watching rugby for over 50 years – but I’ve never seen it played in such adverse conditions. Many of us thought the games would certainly be called off – but Saints officials put incredible effort into clearing the two pitches to get the match referees to okay both games just before the scheduled kick-off times.”.
Full credit has to go to the players from both sides who battled hard throughout the game. At the conclusion, Saints overcame the visitors to win through by 25pts to 7. It was all the more significant in that this was our first 5 point win of the season.
Playing with the strong wind at their backs, Saints dominated the first half – continually pinning the visitors back with well-placed kicks. Good forward pressure and good handling – despite the wet conditions – resulted in 3 Saints tries – one of which was converted. They added a penalty score before Ardrossan managed to scramble a converted try just before the interval.
By this time, the conditions were at their worst and many of us fully expected the referee to call things to a halt. It would have been ironical, given that this was the Saints best display in many weeks. Play resumed with the Saints facing the wind. They controlled possession – giving the Accies little chance to improve their score or to make use of the weather. Understandably both sides tired rapidly and Saints rounded off their scoring with a 4th try.
Good win under severe conditions!
The win keeps us in 3rd-bottom place in the league, but with a much-improved margin between ourselves and the bottom two. It leaves Saints with 3 league matches and although full points from these won’t be enough to save us from relegation – the team spirit and fight shown in this match should push us to finish off with a bang. It’s too late to regret the injuries and other circumstances which caused our mid-season slump – but if this sort of form can be picked up next season, we’ll give our league opponents more than a few headaches.