Tennents Women’s National League Group A
Oban Lorne Ladies 14-49 Ayr Ladies
Oban Lorne Ladies took to the field against a strong Ayr side on Sunday in what would be the deciding game for the National Division 1 title.
Both teams were competing for the title going into the game with Oban just needing one point to seal the competition. Despite having a squad of 17 players Oban were a little understrength with Prop Ellie MacNiven on the sidelines injured while backrow Ailsa MacLachlan and Centre Kirsty Sinclair were both unavailable.
The teams kicked off in front of a big home crowd with fantastic playing conditions for such an important game.
Ayr looked impressive in the opening exchanges and looked to spin the ball wide at any opportunity to get round a narrow Oban defence. The away side took a deserved lead on 7 minutes with a well worked try to lead 7-0.
Oban worked hard to retain the ball allowing Stand Off Lucy Stewart and powerful centre Erika Skofca to link up well and give Oban some promising platforms to attack from.
A Skofca break from midfield was finished well out side by winger Rachel MacDonald drawing the scores level after 15 minutes at 7-7.
Oban looked strong in attack with good carries from the likes of Camilla Leslie and Laura McCormick but were struggling in defence against a quick Ayr side who were throwing the ball around well.
Two tries were leaked to Ayr in the next 5minutes of the game bringing the score to 21-7 after only 25 minutes of play.
Oban hit back shortly after with Lucy Stewart unlucky not to cross the line with her chip kick crashing back off the cross bar. Luckily Oban retained possession where the ball was spun wide to the right wing Liz Comer who touched down in the corner. Game on.
Just as Oban responded and were looking like getting back into the match the ball was gifted straight back to the visitors who scored again seconds from the restart. This was a huge blow for Oban who again trailed by 14 points.
Ayr were full of confidence at this stage in the match and extended their lead to an impressive 35-14 just before the halftime break.
Oban were dealt another blow in the second half with powerful Centre Erika Skofca being forced off injured meaning a reshuffle to the backline.
The second half was a closer affair than the first with Oban exerting more pressure on the Ayr defence but struggled to create any clear cut chance of note.
Ayr scored a further two tries to seal in what turned into a comfortable win. Oban did push hard late on as two more tries would have sealed a losing bonus point what would have brought the league title back into Oban’s hands.
Oban Lorne would like to extend their congratulations to Ayr who were deserved winners on the day and worthy of their status of National Division 1 winners.
Oban Lorne Ladies finish the season as runners up losing out on the title by one point. The Oban coaching team of Corrie Louw and Darrell Williams were disappointed with their teams efforts on Sunday but were very proud of everything the side has achieved this season since their promotion from National Division 2.
The Ladies season now takes a break for the winter before re commencing next March for the National Cup Competitions. Oban Lorne will be hopeful of building on last seasons National Bowl Triumph at BT Murrayfield.