Table topping ladies record impressive win at Ayr
Ayr Ladies 19-49 Oban Lorne Ladies
Tennents National League 1
Oban Lorne Ladies made the long journey to Ayr on Sunday with a squad of only 15 players for what would be their toughest match of the season. Ayr having been relegated from premier league last season would be a strong and organised team to take on.
During the opening minutes nerves were showing and mistakes were made by both teams, the opening plays saw lots of scrums, with both teams having strong forward packs the scrums were fairly even. After 10 minutes Oban’s fly half Lucy Stewart scored her first try and then converted to take the score to 0-7. Fifteen minutes in and Stewart scored her second Try of the day following some great footwork and support from her team mates Lucy found a gap in the strong defence. Again Stewart converted well. 14-0 to Oban Lorne.
Oban were playing well as a team working together and showing how much hard work they have been putting in during training together with coaches Corrie Louw, Billy Thomson and Darrell Williams.
Shortly followed another break by Lucy Stewart, great support by hooker Selina Keppie and an offload to winger Ellen Barlow for Obans third try of the day. The conversion was good again by Stewart as Oban now led an impressive 21-0.
Flanker Ailsa MacLachlan did well in controlling the defence and excellent line speed throughout the game complimented by Erika Skofca and Kirsty Sinclair Oban’s defence was proving hard to break. However after 30 minutes a try came for Ayr by their powerful forwards finally breaking through the strong Oban defence. The conversion narrowed the lead to 7-21.
Oban came back with a great response to the Ayr try, an interception by powerful centre Erika Skofca on the Ayr 5m line followed by a quick offload to Kirsty Sinclair who scored her first try of the game. After 35 minutes there was another try for Ayr by their strong one out runners, with a good conversion bringing the score to 14-28.
Halftime saw a good motivational talk from head coach Corrie Louw who was overall pleased with the ladies performance.
The restart was slightly scrappy with a couple of penalties awarded to both teams. Oban soon sorted out their issues and after 45 mins there was a second try for Sinclair after an interception on the halfway line, she could not be caught by Ayr defence and touched the ball down with ease. The try was converted and Obans lead extended to 14-35.
Notably in the second half there were some strong runs by props Ellie MacNiven and Laura MacCormick who impressed also with their fearless tackling.
After 55 minutes, Ayr were hungry to close the gap and thier scrum half found space on the outside of Oban defence, after a penalty against oban for being offside, she scored a try on the wing taking the score to 19-35.
Following Ayr’s try, Heather Fothergill was quick to respond to refs calls and put in a few great tackles putting Ayr wingers into touch. Also great tackles put in by Howdo Bean who found herself playing in the forward pack for the first time with Oban. Ailsa MacLachlan was also quick to defend the Oban line and made some strong runs through the game.At 65 mins Oban used a quick inside ball to Skofca following a strong Oban scrum, there was no stopping her. Stewarts reliable conversation brought the score to 19-42. After 70 mins Ellie MacNiven scored a try on the back of a powerful run and some clever footwork form the Ayr 5m. Conversion good yet again and the score finished at 19-49.
Oban’s players of the match were awarded to forward Ailsa MacLachlan and Lucy Stewart. With a squad of only 15 the ladies all put in an amazing performance and showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in this league. Their hard work and strong team spirit was certainly shown throughout Sundays performance.
The ladies are away again on Sunday to Greenock Wanderers Ladies who sit mid table after the opening few games. They train every Tuesday 6pm and Thursday 630pm at the rugby club.
Sundays result means that Oban Lorne Ladies sit clear at the top of National Division 1. Sundays win is also the clubs first ever victory over Ayr.