First-half fireworks to celebrate St Patricks
March 23 2017
My first London Irish Game was a St Patricks party so it’s a fixture that I have a soft spot for. Of course this year it was also the fixture that, if won, would guarantee the Exiles top spot in the league. Fair to say then that the team were expected to come out all guns blazing.
First though, to the fan village where a burger and a pint of the black stuff served as warm up to a good set from Bible Code Sundays and we got our first glimpse of our visiting friends from the west.
Once the game started Irish were quickly on the ascendency, Topsy Ojo turning back the years with a try 7 minutes in and then the flood gates opened! In some of the most impressive attacking play seen in some time at the club green shirts would cross the line a further 5 times by the time we hit the half hour mark. Ransom, seeming totally at home in the full back position, got two with Alex Lewington – who looks to be back to his mercurial best – David Paice and Seb De Chaves all getting a try.
Between racking up points Irish looked incredibly formidable, winning set pieces, dominating their opponents and, in Tikoirotuma’s case absolutely smashing Pirates winger Kyle Moyle with a devastating hit.
Moyle was rightfully applauded when he returned to his feet and carried on, displaying the grit that the Cornish men would use to slow Irish right down, getting two tries themselves before the halfway mark.
The second half was less of a thriller as a renewed determination from the visitors kept Irish defending for most of the half. It may not have been pretty but the resolute approach will do the team well against Premiership opposition (assuming promotion is secured).
Despite a largely quiet 40 minutes for whoever was manning the score board, Irish did manage one try courtesy of Ojo and the likes of Cowan, Nayolo and Ransom were immense in defence.
Post-game it was once again nice to see home and away fans mixing together to chat and watch the 6 Nations game. The beer flowed but the atmosphere stayed convivial and welcoming. This might be be the marquee game of the season, but if the team can carry on the form they showed today there will be a few big games still to come this year that it would be a shame to miss!
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