BT Women’s National Division 2
Lismore WRFC 0 – 25 Oban Lorne WRFC
In one of their toughest fought games of the season, Oban Ladies were jolted back to reality in their opening fixture for 2018, taking on Lismore women’s team away from home. Oban travelled with a strong squad, including one substitute. Playing conditions were not ideal, but both teams put in an impressive performance of strength in what was to be a very physical match.
Lismore’s perseverance and good defensive discipline in the opening half forced multiple Green errors. Despite this, Oban were the first team to come away with any points following an impressive break up the wing by centre Erika Skofca, touched down by supporting centre Kirsty Sinclair. However, multiple warnings from the referee to the whole team eventually resulted in a yellow card for Oban flanker, Ailsa MacLachlan, as a result of high tackles. The latter end of the first half played out with big tackles from both sides. An impressive carry by both props, Ellie MacNiven and Georgia Mitchell, as well as another good drive by Skofca brought the Ladies back within 5m of their try line, but an unfortunate turn over at this point left the half time score at 0-5.
Due to injury, Oban requested to start the second half with uncontested scrums. Following a scrum to Lismore, pressure from Oban forced a knock on, earning them one in return. Captain, Laura MacCormick, stormed over the line to score try number two off the back of this bringing the score to 0-10. Although everyone was working hard, and the first game back after the long Christmas break is always a challenge, a quick pep talk before the next kick off kept Oban looking positively towards the remainder of the second half.
Frustratingly, handling errors came from both sides in the next few plays of the game. Once again good drives were made by MacNiven and MacCormick, but once more the ball was lost in contact before any further points were secured. Another high tackle from Oban afforded Lismore a penalty, but luckily the score remained at 0-10. The next points came for second row Beth Menzies, now living in Edinburgh but still playing for her home team. Oban maintained good defensive discipline, and executed big tackles to keep a determined Lismore side at bay before securing the next try, this time for fly half Lucy Stewart. The final try of the game was touched down by Oban scrum half Audrey Barr following a turned over line-out, to bring the closing result to a well-deserved 0-25 win to the visitors.
Oban have maintained an impressive record throughout the season, with their total number of points sitting at 571, to only one try conceded in all of their 9 matches. They currently stand 19 points clear at the top of the league table to nearest rivals Grangemouth and Royal Dick Vet College. Their next match is at home on Sunday 4th February, 2pm against Helensburgh, whom they last defeated 0-105, so supporters are encouraged to come along. Training is currently on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-7pm at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, but more up to date information is available via the Oban Lorne Ladies Rugby Club Facebook page.