St Mirren topped off what has been an impressive 2019 with Premiership survival, beating Dundee United in the Premiership play-off.
It was a brilliant afternoon for them with exuberant celebrations to boot. Some may say that these are wildly over the top. The Buddies finished 11th this year and it took a heroic Václav Hladký penalty shootout performance to save them from the drop.
Despite that, Oran Kearney’s men and the loyal Buddies supporters had every right to celebrate their massive victory.
They were under intense pressure, and when push came to shove, the Saints delivered.
St Mirren earned their celebrations
Given how St Mirren started under Alan Stubbs, it’s a brilliant achievement that Kearney’s men even managed to make the play-offs. They were stranded at the bottom at times this season. Three wins from their opening 21 games didn’t help the survival cause either.
Having turned that dire form into just one defeat in their past 10 matches, it has been a good effort from the players overall. The fans have backed them all the way, with their vocal support and large numbers boosting the survival effort.
They survived the horror start under Stubbs, with Kearney leading them to survival. Relegation wouldn’t have just hit the playing staff, but people who work behind the scenes in Paisley.
People across the club would have been put out of work or facing the prospect of a wage cut. The sheer relief that you have secured someone’s job for another year is cause for celebration.
Players are also celebrating the fact they still have a livelihood. They too would have faced potential pay-cuts and other financial ramifications if they suffered defeat to United.
Added to the fact they have just won the club’s biggest game of the season, there are plenty of reasons why the Buddies are celebrating play-off victory. Has it been a great season? Not by any stretch of the imagination, but are they entitled to celebrate their great escape? Absolutely.
Oran Kearney has done a great job of keeping St Mirren in the top flight. With a full summer to work with, the former school teacher will hope to propel the Buddies up the table during the 2019/20 campaign.