ENFIELD Ignatians breathed a huge collective sigh of relief after extending their unbeaten Ready4Rugby campaign to five and just like the Battle of Waterloo, it proved to be a close run thing at Donkey Lane on Saturday.

Ignatians’ threadbare squad numbering just 13 players was badly outgunned in the first and second quarters when a far more fluid Finsbury Park literally ran rings around the hosts and, on completion of the second quarter, the visitors had victory within their grasp at 7-3 up.

Ignatians just about stayed afloat in the third quarter when they trailed 9-6, but a grandstand finish in the final segment turned the game on its head following two scores from Phil Tucker, including the match winner, with Alberto di Dio and Ben Mills also pitching in.

An even first quarter saw Ignatians trail 4-3 on the scoreboard after Mills, Johnny Dixon (who injured his hamstring in the process) and the returning Hadee Fayaz (interception) all crossed, before the hosts suffered their worst period in the second-quarter.

The third marked something of a resurgence as tries from Paul Duke, Hadee Fayaz, and Liam Horn ensured that Ignatians stayed in the hunt despite still facing a three try deficit going to the final portion of the game.

However, everything changed in the final period.

Acting captain, Ben Mills, readily admitted that his side had pulled a large rabbit out of the hat. “It was very tough and enjoyable - and all credit to the boys for sticking at it.

“Obviously, we didn’t have the numbers as we usually do as, some of the players were unavailable. However, at least we trained twice during the week, and will be looking to sign off this year on a winning note against Southgate on Saturday.”

As well as the style of the victory, the game itself was cause for great joy, with Ignatians returning to the field for the first time since early November before national lockdown restrictions were placed on the country for a second time with coronavirus infection rates soaring throughout the nation.

Before the second lockdown Enfield had been in irresistable form, seeing off their four other opponents in the Middlesex Ready4Rugby North-East Pool, including Southgate, Saracens Amateurs, Old Grammarians and Hackney.

Some adaptations have had to be made to the 15-a-side game to allow play to continue.

This includes no scrums or mauls, scrums replaced with a free kick, and a minimum of five and a maximum of seven players from each team can form a lineout.