BT WOMENS NATIONAL LEAGUE 2 – SUNDAY 18/09/2016
OBAN LORNE 38-0 HELENSNURGH
Oban Lorne Ladies welcomed Argyll rivals Helensburgh RFC to Glencruitten on Sunday in their first match of the season and the first ever 15 aside meeting between the two teams.
Having struggled for players last season and moving down to National Division 2, the Ladies started the new season strongly, fielding a team of 17 players Training numbers hit a high of 23 on Thursday night with the team preparing well under the guidance of coach Corrie Louw.
Both experienced and new players were quick to get stuck in and make their mark on the Helensburgh defence, with a couple of near misses in the first ten minutes and maintained pressure on the opposition. This eventually led to an opening try after a clever offload by winger Kelly Lamont to fullback Ashley Lazzara in towards the posts (5-0). The ladies had opportunities to increase their lead that were unfortunately missed, with drizzly weather creating slippery ball handling conditions but centre Kirsty Sinclair battled through the defence to score under the posts and front row Ellie MacNiven successfully converted (12-0). MacNiven showed further skill on the pitch with a quick pop ball to prop Laura MacCormick who bulldozed through the defence and over the line for a third try (17-0). The remainder of first half was played on the half way line with possession switching back and forth, and impressively strong tackles by Helensburgh preventing the girls in green from making much ground, however another try by Sinclair, again converted by MacNiven, took the half time score to 24-0.
The second half opened with an impressive third and, shortly after, fourth try for Sinclair, who shrugged off tackles from left and right to score under the posts once again, with both conversions also successful (38-0). Play was halted whilst MacNiven received treatment for a shoulder injury and eventually left the field. The remainder of the game was played out without any great pressure on either try line.
Unfortunately, after a particularly hard tackle, Lazzara required treatment on the pitch for a potential head and/or neck injury, and the referee decided to call the game to a close with a few minutes remaining. This meant a comfortable opening win for the Green Army at 38-0.
Helensburgh have just established a competitive ladies side, training as a development team last year and even lending players to Oban to help them in fulfilling the few fixtures they played during last season. With this in mind, the ladies formed an impressive opposition and the game was a great opportunity to introduce some of Oban’s new players to the sport and shake off any early season nerves before moving onto more experienced opposition in the coming weeks.
Oban take on Grangemouth away next Sunday (25th) and will look to build on this week’s success by continuing to practice their set plays at training this week. The ladies train every Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm at Oban Rugby Club, Glencruitten, with newcomers and experienced players very welcome!