BT WOMENS NATIONAL LEAGUE 2
OBAN LORNE LADIES 17-12 HOWE OF FIFE
SUNDAY 20TH NOVEMBER, GLENCRUITTEN
On a cold and crisp Sunday afternoon, Oban Ladies welcomed Howe of Fife to Glencruitten for what proved to be a very evenly matched game. With these teams sitting first and second in their league respectively. Boasting a strong squad of 18 women, the hosts went into the match on a high after last week’s defeat of RDVC in Edinburgh, including a debut for 17 year old fullback Lucy Stewart who has this week been dispensed to play for the senior squad, having previously played for the high school team. In the absence of captain Camilla Leslie, vice captain Laura MacCormick stepped up to lead the ladies on the pitch.
The majority of the first half went without major excitement, with both teams enjoying the occasional breakthrough run and putting up a strong defence against each others attempts to progress toward either try line. It wasn’t until the closing minutes of the first half that any points were added to the board, with captain for the day MacCormick leading by example and diving over the line following some impressive runs, shrugging off tackles throughout the first 40 minutes. This half drew to a close at 5-0.
Howe started the second half strongly and after 10 minutes of more toing and froing, the girls in green frustratingly allowed one of the Howe players to slip through 4 or 5 tackles to dive over the line on their left wing (5-5). Not deterred by a short run of mistakes, the Oban ladies regrouped and after a strong run by Stewart, with good support from her fellow backs, Oban earned a penalty just out from their try line. The try wasn’t to come at this stage, but following some swapping of possession in the rucks Howe came away with the ball and booted it up the pitch. Stewart deftly caught it and ran round many of her own players and the opposition alike to score Oban’s second try of the game (10-5). Stewart slotted into the senior team without any trouble, performing a great covering role as fullback and demonstrating a good understanding of the game and high skill level. As the second half played out, Oban suffered a couple of injuries, including a head knock to captain MacCormick and this left them vulnerable to the relentless attack by their opposition. With 15 minutes of the match remaining Howe of Fife took the lead for the first time, scoring and also securing the first successful conversion of the match (10-12).
As the match came to a close, both teams were showing signs of tiring in the freezing conditions, with the defensive lines not as regimented as the start of the game, but it was Oban that pushed until the final whistle, and the ladies were rewarded with the match clinching try just two minutes before the end of the game. Stand off Emma Roxburgh, who has had a very successful season thus far, ended up getting the ball over the line after a string of impressive whole team play, with Stewart successfully converted just before the ref’s final whistle to bring the closing score to 17-12. This allows the Green Army to retain their position at the top of National Division 2, and they travel to play Annan next week in the preliminary round of the BT women’s bowl. Their next home game will be in the new year. The ladies train Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm at Glencruitten pitches, with new players always encouraged and no previous experience necessary.
Oban Lorne ladies have improved vastly since the start of the season under the guidance of head coach Corrie Louw and have been attracting around 20 players to training every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Hopefully other young players can follow in the likes of Lucy Stewarts footsteps and progress to the senior ladies side this season.