TENNENTS WEST REGIONAL SHIELD QUARTER FINAL
OBAN LORNE 10-19 DLAZIEL
Oban Welcomed Dalziel to Glencruitten on Saturday in the Quarter Final of the West Shield. This was the first ever competitive meeting between the clubs at 1st XV level
Oban were looking to keep the winning ways going after an unbeaten start to the season in Division 2, while Dalziel were looking to get their season back on track after a faltering start to their league campaign has seen them win only one of their four Division 1 games since dropping from the National Leagues at the end of last season
The Oban coaching team were under no illusions of how tricky this tie could be and were forced into a number of changes in personnel for various reasons. Missing for Oban Lorne on Saturday were Prop Andy MacDougall, captain Iwan Rhys Roberts along with long term injured backs Graham MacEachan and David McLaughlin.
Before the game started a minutes silence was recognised as players and family paid their respect to Ian Kerr who had been Instrumental in establishing a junior rugby section through Oban High and the Club. Thought of everyone at Oban Lorne are with the Kerr family at this time.
The game started brightly enough for Oban Lorne with a good period of sustained pressure in the visitors half. The Dalziel team were very well drilled at the Breakdown and managed to constantly slow down the Oban ball.
The first breakthrough came from a Dalziel kick out of defence which was fielded by hooker Radi Maksimov who ran the ball back hard at the defene. A great offload to Lorne MacLachlan and another to No8 Owen McDonald saw the big Doctor surge clear from the halfway line and out paced the cover defence to score another excellent try, adding to his haul for the season.
This was successfully converted by Stand Off Finlay Carmichael to maintain his 100% strike rate from the tee in the last three games!
With 20 mins gone Oban were 7-0 up and working hard to create opportunities and a combination of forced passes and poor kicking allowed The Dalziel team back in the game.
Dalziel’s main source of good ball was from their Lineout and after a number of driving mauls had been successfully repelled by the Oban forwards the defence finally cracked and the very well organised driving maul took them over the Oban line.
This was duly converted and quickly followed by another penalty for offside inside the 22 to give Dalziel a well fought 10-7 lead at the break.
Oban’s indiscipline led to two further penalties for Dalziel as they stretched their lead to 16-7.
Oban were then to exert a massive amount of pressure on the Dalziel line with a series of brutal drives at the line resulting in Oban being held up over the line or knocked back by illegal tactics. There were a number of infringements by the Dalziel team which escaped further sanction from the referee especially as these were being done so close to the line.
Oban failed to capitalise fully on this period with only a further penalty from Carmichael to boost the Oban scoreboard. 16-10
With Oban within a converted try of winning the game the boys digged deep to try a create the space to release their dangerous runners out wide but the well organised defence managed to keep the Oban backs in check for the first time this season.
With Oban pushing the game and trying to run the ball out from deep in their 22 a mistake under the posts allowed Dalziel to turn the ball over. The Dalziel Scrum half seized his chance and dropped a goal from literally 5 yards out to stretch the lead to 19-10.
With 90 seconds or so remaining and one last charge upfield from the kick off Owen McDonald mistimed his jump and clattered into the giant Dalziel no6 causing him to land heavily on his neck and shoulder. The referee who had had a good game by letting the game flow deemed it a reckless and dangerous challenge and red carded the Oban no8. The big Doctor will be sorely missed in the next few weeks as served his suspension as has been outstanding all season.
This duly brought an end to very good game of rugby with both sides attempting to play a lot of rugby but with the Lanarkshire time just edging it with there work over the ball.
There are a number of positives for the coaching team to take from this game with the boys competing very well with the team from the higher division.
This week sees Oban back on their travels as they return to league action with another away game against Lenzie. Both teams are undefeated so far so something has to give this week. Another victory on the road would see Oban see Oban go 5 from 5 with only 1 league game so far at home!
The coaching team are looking for a strong squad to travel away for what will be a very difficult game.
Oban Lorne’s next home game is against Loch Lomond RFC on Saturday 13th of October.