Oban Lorne 26-52 Hillhead Jordanhill

Oban Lorne RFC stepped up their preparations for the upcoming 2017/18 season with a home friendly fixture against National Division 3 side Hillhead Jordanhill RFC. A mixture of 1st XV and 2XV players were fielded by Oban Head Coach Corrie Louw with a number of players looking to further impress after success at the Tower 10s tournament the previous weekend.
The home side fielded a fairly strong side despite a number of players being unavailable either due to injury or work commitments. The game was to played in 4x 20 minute quarters to give both sets of coaches a chance to feedback to the players on the pitch.
Hillhead kicked off in perfect conditions at Glencruitten and made a storming start to the game. Oban lost control of the ball at the kick off gifting the visitors possession in the Oban 22. A couple of quick phases of play were completed before the helpless Oban defence crumbled to give away the first try of the day after only a minute of play.
Oban were left shocked by their lacklustre start and were again on the back foot as Hillhead raced through some poor tackling on the 5th minute to soar into an early 12-0 lead.
At this stage things were looking worrying for the home side, a big step up in performance was required to prevent a heavy scoreline.
Oban replied well to their disastrous start and marched their way into the Hillhead half thanks to successive penalties being awarded their way by referee Willie Malone. The scoreline was narrowed on 15 minutes with Lorne MacLachlan powering over from short range after a period of pressure on the tryline. Scrum half Finlay Carmichael converted narrowing the score to 12-7. Hillhead though hit back with their third score of the game increasing their lead to 19-7.
The scoreline remained the same at the end of the first quarter with Oban growing into the game but however wasting a couple of try scoring opportunities in the process.
Oban’s improvements continued into the second quarter with a second try of the game coming from Scrum Half Finlay Carmichael. The home side were on top in terms of territory and possession aided by the visitor’s poor discipline at the breakdown. Carmichael dived over from the back of a ruck after a barrage of attacks on the line by the Oban forwards. The men in green were impressing at this stage of the game with some good attacks and retaining the ball well from a well oiled lineout. The usual dominance at scrumtime was missing however for the hosts who came up against a formidable Hillhead front row.
At halftime the score stood at 21-14 to the visitors with Oban pleased with their performance so far despite their slow start.
Halftime changes were made with Daniel Broderick replacing Craig McGuire at hooker while Calum MacLachlan and Dave McCabe were also introduced into the backline.
Oban had arguably their best period in the game going into the third quarter. Dave McCabe’s influence in midfield was proving to be a difference in attack as two well timed passes setup Oban Captain Craig Wright for two tries in quick succession. The two tries finished off from just inside the Hillhead half gave Oban a 26-21 lead.
Oban held onto their lead until the final play of the third quarter when an individual error over the tryline resulted in an easy touchdown for the onrushing Hills players. With the score tied at 26-26 Hills missed the resulting conversion in front of the posts meaning the sides would go into the last quarter equal on points.
Unfortunately for Oban the last 20 minutes of the game proved to be a one sided affair for the visitors as they ran in four unanswered tries against a tiring defence.
The final score recorded a convincing 52-26 win for Hillhead Jordanhill despite a spirited performance from Oban Lorne.
Player/ Coach Corrie Louw was happy with his teams performance overall with more positives than negatives to be taken from the game.
Oban Lorne RFC would like to thank Hillhead Jordanhill RFC for travelling for the game and wish them well for the season ahead in National Division 3.
Oban Lorne;
C. Louw, C. McGuire, D. Kemp, L. MacLachlan, A. MacDougall, J. Strachan, S. Povey, V. Mihov, F. Carmichael, I. Rhys- Roberts, A. Wright, T. Harrison, C. Wright, V. Borisov, D. McLaughlin.
D. Broderick, R. Morrison, D. McCabe, C. MacLachlan
Oban Lorne kick off their 2017/18 season on Saturday with a tough away fixture to fellow BT West Division 1 opponents Garnock RFC in the West Regional Shield. The two sides have been familiar opponents over the past few years with Oban recording a narrow 10-7 win in their last meeting in February.
A win on Saturday would setup a home fixture against the winner of a fixture between Argyll rivals Helensburgh RFC and Division 2 side Cumbernauld. This potential fixture would be played on Saturday 26th of August at Glencruitten with a 3pm Kick off.
Oban Lorne and Garnock will meet again on Saturday 2nd of September at Glencruitten for the first West Division League game of the season.

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