Northampton Saints overtake London Irish but fail to dampen St Patrick’s Party celebrations

AFTER a three-year wait, London Irish have finally been able to host their annual St Patrick’s Day match for their fans  – and what a party it was.

Ben White signs flags and shirts for the fans (PIC: Chris Egan)

On Saturday, March 26, the Irish-themed celebration was, for the first time, held at their new home, the Brentford Community Stadium in west London.

DSC 5934 Mini rugby players take a pitch walk ahead of the game (PIC: Chris Egan)

And, following a season played behind closed doors, London Irish opened their doors to host a home-warming party in style.

DSC 4716 Fans dress up for the annual St Patrick’s Day match (PIC: Chris Egan)

Music was provided from The Reels, Bible Code Sundays, and The London Irish Community Choir and a display of Irish dancing came from the Scoil Rince Céin Oir Irish dancers.

DSC 5974 74 mini rugby teams took part in a rugby festival ahead of the game (PIC: CHris Egan)

Add into the mix a sun-drenched stadium and over 1000 mini and junior rugby players who  were invited to walk around the pitch and you have the ingredients for a great celebration.

DSC 5999 Hats off to the fans who came to support the London Irish at their new home (PICS: Chris Egan)

On the pitch there was still a match to be plated, with London Irish going up against Northampton Saints.

Ollie Hassell-Collin got the scoring underway for London Irish with a try within the seventh minute.

DSC 6010 Fans basked in glorious sunshine throughout the match (PICS: Chris Egan)

With Paddy Jackson failing to get the conversion, he quickly made up for the mishap with a penalty in the tenth minute to take the score line to 8-0 and all seemed to be going well for the Exiles.

DSC 6068 3 Scoil Rince Céin Oir Irish Dancers perform at half time (PIC: Chris Egan)

But a record-breaking 15,085 person crowd at the Exiles’ new home for the match and two second-half tries from Nick Phipps were not enough to overcome the on-form Northampton Saints.

DSC 4153 Nick Phipps clears from the ruck for London Irish (PIC: Chris Egan)

The game ended London Irish 22, Northampton Saints 42.

Following the match, as the crowd began to leave the stadium, the Bible Code Sundays took to the stage to play a concert.

DSC 6016 Bible Code Sundays play a concert in ‘the bowl’ (PIC: Chris Egan)

London Irish players took the opportunity to thank the crowd, pose for photographs and sign flags and memorabilia.

One moment please…


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