BT WEST DIVISION 1
SATURDAY 28TH APRIL
OBAN LORNE 20-24 STEWARTRY
Along with the excitement of the Ladies winning the National Bowl the backlog of West Division 1 fixtures meant that the Oban Lorne 1st XV were also in action with a rearranged fixture against mid table Stewartry RFC.
With all players supporting the Ladies in their 45-5 Bowl triumph at BT Murrayfield the Oban Lorne committee arranged a neutral venue for Saturdays game as the fixture was played at Bouroughmuir RFC’s Meggetland ground, a short trip from Murrayfield.
Oban Lorne fielded a relatively strong team but were missing key players such as Lorne MacLachlan, Jamie Bate, Jack Strachan, Connor Kerr, Finlay Carmichael, David McLaughlin and Iwan Rhys Roberts. The majority of the missing players are unavailable due to injuries.
Stewartry RFC who are safe in mid table had nothing to play for in this fixture still fielded an impressive lineup and found themselves rave into a very early 7-0 lead thanks to some poor defence around the breakdown from Obans pack.
Oban responded mid way through the half as Captain and Stand Off for the day Craig Wright burst clear from 30 metres out to score and reduce the deficit to 7-5.
The men in Green were competing well in the game aided by some superb back row play from Stephen Povey, Daniel Speirs and Matt Walker.
Poor tackling proved to be Oban’s downfall on the day however as Stewartry again capitalised on some sloppy defending to score their second try of the day extending the score to 14-5. Wright responded for Oban with a penalty just before the break to reduce the score to 14-8.
Stewartry dominated most of the possession in the send half but Oban were looking very dangerous on the break and took the lead on 45 minutes as Calum MacLachlans break upfield setup Bulgarian International Radostin Maksimov who finished off well. 15-14 to Oban.
This lead was however short lived as Stewartry’s dangerous outside Centre scored to regain a 21-15 lead for his team.
Calum MacLachlan went close again for Oban as the powerful winger just lost control off the ball as he surged towards the tryline. Oban did give themselves a real chance at victory as Wright scored his second of the day with 10 minutes remaining taking the team back into the game at 21-20.
Stewartry controlled the closing stages well and slotted over a penalty kick taking the score to 24-20 meaning Oban needed a try to win the match. Oban pushed late on but could not breach the away defence as Stewartry held on for a narrow and hard fought 24-20 win.
The result means that Oban’s task of surviving in the league is looking in real doubt as the team lie nine points adrift of 10th placed Irvine RFC.
This Saturday Oban Lorne welcome Kilmarnock RFC to Glencruitten for the second time this season. The clubs met in March with the game being abandoned due to an injury to the referee. Saturdays must win game for Oban kicks off at 3pm.