Category: News

Oban players attend kicking session with Chris Paterson

A mixture of Youth, 1st XV and Ladies players were fortunate to attend at specialist kicking sessions delivered by Scotland legend Chris Paterson at BT Murrayfield last Friday.

The session arranged by Oban Lorne RFC committee member Tommy Sutherland was setup to help Oban centre Alessandro Franzo with his University studies but also acted as a fantastic opportunity for some of the clubs players to be exposed to a top level coach.

The players invited by Oban Lorne RFC to attend the sessions were as follows;

Blair MacFarlane, Oban U13s, Angus Neil, Oban U16s, Ben MacFarlane Barrow & Andrew Ritchie, Oban U18s, Alessandro Franzo, Steven Parr & Calum MacLachlan, Oban Lorne 1st XV and Ellie MacNiven, Oban Lorne Ladies.

Oban Lorne RFC would like to thank both Chris Paterson and Scottish Rugby with their help in organising a fantastic day for the players!

Greenmachine triumph in Argyll derby!




The Greenmachine arrived at a sunny Ardencaple in Helensburgh in a confident mood, Coach Louw asking all but 1 question of the boys during the warm up, not the calls, or line out codes, but who do you play for? A question that every player answered, not only verbally but between the white lines also. This was to be a make or break game for the season ahead down to the poor start to the campaign.

The team saw an array of changes from the previous week, with Player/Coach Corrie Louw starting at loose head, Donald Budge in at hooker in place of the absent Robin MacQueen. Another change saw Richard McKay in the back row along with Cameron Smith, replacing Struan Smith and Vladi Mihov respectively. The back line saw the return of Finlay Carmichael in place of Iwan Rhys Roberts, a first start for flying winger Aleksejs Maslakovics, and a return for the first time this season for veteran flyer David Mclaughlin.

The game started with a Helensburgh kick off, after a few phases Carmichael opted to kick long, Helensnburgh retained possession and on around the 5-minute mark there outside centre made a break in the midfield. Good scramble defence and a turn over saw this attack thwarted but the midfield battle looked like it was going to be a fascinating one. Two minutes later saw scrum half Vasil Borisow make a great dart from the ruck, a Helensburgh defender only just catching him and dragging him to the floor. Both teams were having a go!

Ten minutes in saw a break from cumbersome full back Calum MacLachlan to take Oban deep into the Helensburgh half, after a few phases of quick ball a knock on from Dave McCabe saw a scrum awarded to Helensburgh. The resulting scrum saw Burgh pushed back off their own ball and a penalty awarded to Oban, invaluable work from the tight five. A kick to the corner saw Oban win their line out and a break from centre David McCabe saw a lose offload giving Helensburgh the opportunity to clear their lines which they did, Oban were now back on their 10 meter line.

Thirteen minutes in Oban were awarded a penalty for a Helensburgh player offside, Captain Craig Wright opting for the corner and the kick finding the edge of the 22. From the line out Oban set up a solid drive that saw them enter the Helensburgh 22. A back line move saw the centres hit it up in midfield, a quick ruck and a break from second row Andrew MacDougall probably provided the most comical moment of the match. After ignoring the close support he opted to throw a 30 meter pass to the wing….. only to find out the player on the wing was a Helensburgh one! A good giggle for spectators but another sign that Oban were taking control in the match.

Fortunately for Mr MacDougall the Burgh winger knocked the ball on and a scrum was awarded for Oban 10 meters out, another huge scrum for Oban saw the home team collapse it but No.8 Cameron Smith proving yet again that nothing can stop him that close to the line after bumping off two tacklers and dotting down, Oban had scored their first try in over 100 minutes of rugby.

The next score of the game came from the boot of Carmichael shortly followed up by another try by Cameron Smith. A knock on from Helensburgh saw Oban awarded a scrum 5 meters out, a superb kick to touch from centre Dave McCabe was the catalyst for the next Oban score, his kick finding the Burgh 5 meter line. Good disruption at the line out saw Oban awarded a scrum for a knock on another try followed Lorne MacLachlan touching down. conversion wide and the half time whistle from referee Willie Malone saw Oban leading 20-7.

More of the same the message from Coach Corrie Louw, who used all three of his available substitutes at half time, David McLaughlin making his first appearance this season.

The turn of the half saw no let up from Oban who ran in a further three tries, the first the icing on the cake for Cameron Smith who completed his hat-trick. The second then came from a quick dash from stand-off Finlay Carmichael who stood up the full back and played in No.12 David McCabe for a try under the posts. Lorne MacLachlan scoring the 3rd off the back of an uncontested scrum from a pass from Steven Povey after bumping off 2 tacklers. Carmichael adding all 3 kicks, and a further 2 conversions taking the final score to 47-7.

This win was a huge relief to the men in green who have been frustrated with their efforts so far this season. Even more pleasing was the fact that Oban were beaten by a similar scoreline by Helensburgh at the end of last season.

Things look like they have finally clicked for the Greenmachine!

Further evidence of Oban Lorne’s progress will hopefully be seen this Saturday as Oban entertain third placed Carrick RFC at Glencruitten. Meetings between the teams have been physical affairs over the past few years and this promises to be another entertaining match. Kick off 3pm at Glencruitten.

Man of the match: Richard McKay

Isle of Mull 48-0 Argyll & Bute




Used with permission from Isle of Mull RFC….

In what was dubbed ‘the battle of North Argyll’, Mull played some of their best rugby of the season so far against local rivals Argyll RFC – the casualty count was high however. Both weather and pitch conditions were nearly perfect as a good crowd waited in anticipation of the neighbours first meeting of the season. Argyll and Bute had interestingly overtaken Mull in the league after their win against Hyndland the previous week, and must have sailed across the Sound with high hopes. The home team fielded a strong squad, welcoming Hamish Cumming to the front row for his debut. Meanwhile, the back line saw the return of Tobermory’s Douglas Swinbanks, who was to have a decisive influence throughout the afternoon. Within the first 30 seconds of the kick off, former club captain and talismanic back row Alex Craig seriously injured his ankle in a collision. He was substituted, and later flown off the island for treatment. This unlucky start unfortunately became one of the themes of the match, with quite a few serious injuries occurring on both sides – not through malice it must be stressed however. Mull picked themselves up and made a strong start. They were rewarded when veteran James Gibbons opened the scoring after 10 minutes, getting to the line and scoring after a dummy. Shortly after, some great interpassing between the islanders saw Angus MacLeannan from Aros score after being set up by Sean Black. Mull were 10-0 up after 20 minutes. A contender for try of the season was next – a great break from Sean Black with some quality offloading allowing Stuart Crichton in. An Andrew MacLeanan conversion made it 17-0. Just before half time the Muileachs earned their bonus point – a break from Stuart Crichton allowed Craig O’Donnell to get on the score sheet. It has to be said that Mull’s style of free-flowing rugby was greatly encouraged by the excellent performance by referee Davie Jamieson; he controlled all aspects of the game but still allowed the play to flow. Mull’s form continued in the second half as Angus MacLeannan bagged another try, and Stuart Crichton got his hat trick. The score was now 41-0 against a now 14-man Argyll, who were still putting up a valiant defence. The first aiders on duty were again kept busy as debutante Hamish Cumming was helped off with a serious hip injury, later having to attend the hospital in Oban. Meanwhile several Argyll players were injured on the pitch, receiving treatment simultaneously. Mull’s final try came from a MacLennan brother’s double act, Andrew both scoring and converting. With yet another serious injury for Argyll and yet another visit from the ambulance, the referee wisely decided to blow the whistle 15 minutes early. The final score was 48-0. Praise has to be given to the Red Cross team, Ambulance crew and off-duty first responder for their professionalism in dealing with all of the incidents The win now raises the boys in black and white to 3rd place in the league. Club Captain Craig O’Donnell said ‘it was an absolutely terrific result for Mull Rugby and great to see the team back at their best. On behalf of the team, I’d like to wish a speedy recovery for everyone with serious injuries and looking forward to the return match in 2 weeks time’. Mull face Argyll again in their next match, in Oban on the 22nd of October in what is sure to be an intriguing encounter.

Argyll & Bute are back in action next Saturday with an away trip to League leaders Lanark RFC

Rugby this weekend – the Battle of Argyll!




This Saturday sees both of our senior sides, Oban Lorne RFC and Argyll & Bute RFC up against local opposition in the form of friendly rivals and geographical neighbours Helensburgh RFC and Isle of Mull RFC


Saturdays meeting will be must win for both sides after a disappointing start to the season. Both Helensburgh and Oban Lorne have only won once each this season and find themselves in the lower reaches of the Division 1 table.

The Greenmachine have been very frustrated in their efforts so far this season with games being lost on narrow margins. The general feeling within the squad is that things have not clicked together within the team yet. When this happens there is no doubt the team will climb the table and hopefully challenge for the top half.

Helensburgh will provide a tough test under coach Adam Hart and will equally be trying to record a much needed win.


The battle for North Argyll will take place at the picturesque Garmony on the Isle of Mull this Saturday. Argyll will be hoping to build on last weekends win over Hyndland and should have a fairly string squad available for the game.

Despite only having won once this season have been playing well and turning out a healthy squad each week. The Muileachs have been a changed side since Fergus Whyte’s introduction as head coach at the start of last season. Hopefully the game will be a great advert for rugby in Argyll with a number of players who have come through school in Oban and Tobermory featuring for either side.


Oban Lorne Ladies have no game this weekend and have a welcome rest after their recent outings this season. The Ladies team are back in league action next Sunday with a long trip to Annan.


Saturdays home game against Glasgow Hawks is off as the opposition cannot raise a team. Hopefully the game can be rearranged for a later date.

U16, U14 & U13

No games this weekend due to school holidays!




Greenmachine fail to score at Annan




Oban Lorne travelled to Violetbank to take on Annan RFC in a rematch of the previous seasons shield tie were Annan came out top as narrow winners. This was to be the first league meeting between the two sides for several seasons.

Determined to make amends on the previous result Oban named a strong side with Struan Smith and Lorne MacLachlan returning in the back row, Dave McCabe returning at inside centre and Alessandro Franzo starting on the wing in place of Calum MacLachlan.

The match started at a frantic pace with a lot of scrappy kicks, offloads and passes. Annan having the better of the possession and the better of the penalty count. An Oban offence at the ruck gifted Annan a shot at goal, the resulting kick sailing wide and a let off for Oban.

Annan started to build on good territorial kicking from there fly half pinning the Oban wings back and forcing the Green Machine to play from deep in their own half. A series off carries aided by poor tackling in the Oban defence resulted in the first score of the match after a quick pick and go from the Annan tighthead Oban were now behind 5-0 and the conversion was successful taking the score to 7-0.

The first half Annan were definitely the better side, spreading the ball well and kicking good territory. Oban definitely had the better of the Annan pack in the scrums but did not capitalize on this enough.

The second half started fast and franticly, with second row Jack Baxter, Oban’s most consistent player this season by a long way, making a break down the right flank of Annan’s defence and gaining considerable yards. This seemed to lift Oban hugely and Annan were now under pressure.

A Penalty 5 meters out saw Oban opt for the scrum, a huge shove saw the ball spit out the Annan scrum and Vasil Borisow dived onto the ball over the line. Try disallowed and a reset scrum was the decision from the man with the whistle.

Further pressure continued from Oban who didn’t let Annan into the game for the first 20-30 minutes of the second half, another big scrum in the Annan 22 saw Struan Smith outstretched and downing the ball on the Annan try line. Disallowed again, double movement the decision.

On Annan’s first visit to the Oban half they were awarded a penalty for an Oban player sealing off, they opted for posts and again Oban were let off the hook with the kick sailing wide. With 10 minutes to go Annan were back in the game and spreading the ball wide again, a break into the 22 saw them awarded another penalty at the breakdown with the Annan fly half scoring the penalty taking the score to 10-0 to the home side.

Annan turned Oban over in there 22 and threw the ball wide and there winger kicked the ball out to bring the game to an end.

Another frustrating performance for Coach Louw to look at, with the work rate in general being highlighted as a major issue.

The result leaves Oban Lorne 9th in the league only above winless Irvine RFC. Oban Lorne must secure a win against fellow strugglers and Argyll rivals Helensburgh RFC next Saturday if the team have any aspirations of climbing up the league table.

Kick off next Saturday is 3pm at Ardencaple, Helensburgh

Argyll & Bute 46-29 Hyndland







Argyll & Bute RFC welcomed Hyndland to Glencruitten on Saturday for the first game between the two sides this season. Argyll had beaten the visitor’s home and away last season but knew they would be in for a tough test today.

The home side boasted a squad of 19 players, frustratingly however after last week’s call off at Cowal due to a lack of numbers. Players returning to the squad included Allan Wright, Darren Miller, Travis Smith, and Islay’s Anthony Bowman.

Argyll made a great start to the game and scored straight from the kick off. An offload by Mid Argyll’s Mark Charlton found scrum half Allan Wright who raced clear from the halfway line to touch down under the posts. Steven Parrs conversion gave a 7-0 lead with only seconds of the game being played.

This was not a sign of what was to come as the visitors would make the home side work hard throughout the game. Hyndland took possession of the ball and were looking dangerous with some strong runners in the backline. They levelled the score to 7-7 after 5 minutes when some extremely poor tackling in the Argyll backline let the Hyndland inside centre in for a try.

Argyll regrouped from this and dominated the play in the Hyndland half. A combination of poor discipline at the breakdown and a lack of firepower due to uncontested scrums meant that Argyll were struggling to get on the front foot and create any meaningful scoring chances. The hosts regained the lead with Steven Parr penalty, 10-7.

Hyndland though had other ideas of how the game was to go and scored two tries in a five minute period to lead 17-10. The visitors however did not have to work hard for their scores, again due to some woeful tackling along the Argyll backline.

The hosts knew they were not playing well and would have to up their efforts particularly in defence to get anything out of the match. Injuries within the Argyll team meant that utility back, Gin Tas entered the field in what would be a memorable game for the Lithuanian.

Just before halftime a Hyndland clearing kick was gathered by the replacement Gin Tas inside his own half. The payer then went on a storming run down the touchline, weaving his way through the defence to touch down under the posts. Another conversion from Parr tied the scores at 17-17 at the break.

Like the first half Argyll made the best start to the second and scored a try within the first five minutes. Daniel Brodericked picked and went blind from the uncontested scrum before offloading to replacement winger Eba Mecauskas who touched down in the corner. A great conversion extended the score to 24-17.

From the resulting kick off came the best score of the day. Islay’s Anthony Bowman caught the ball in his own 22 and very cleverly kicked over the top of the on rushing Hyndland pack. Bowman’s pace let him reach the ball before anyone else where he gathered it on one hand by the halfway line and raced clear to score a fantastic try.

This great individual effort brought the score to 31-17 with Argyll hungry to press on.

Despite Argyll going a couple of tries ahead much credit must go to Hyndland who kept fighting in the game. The visitors were at times even down to as low as 13 players due to a lack of subs and injuries.

Again some poor tackling let Hyndland in for another soft score to narrow the margin to 31-22. Argyll though with a numerical advantage were dominating most of the attacking play and looed dangerous every time they moved forward with the ball.

Now playing at stand off for the injured Steven Parr, Gin Tas capped off an impressive afternoon with two further tries taking his total to four for the afternoon as Argyll raced 46-22 ahead.

Hyndland though refused to give up and scored a deserved consolation giving a final score of 46-29 in an entertaining game.

Despite the win Argyll knew that it was by all means not a complete performance with much work needed in defence. The attacking play of the team was encouraging throughout the game with seven good tries scored.

Argyll must step up their overall performance next weekend as they travel to face neighbours Isle of Mull RFC next Saturday. Mull have been unlucky not to have won the majority of their opening five matches and will provide Argyll with their toughest test of the season so far.

Kick off is 3pm at Garmony (TBC)

Argyll & Bute

Darren Miller, Craig McGuire, Mark Charlton, Kyle Graham, Jonathan Sayer, David Petrov, Neil Rimmer, Daniel Broderick, Allan Wright, Steven Parr, Alexandre Jobin, Daniel Hoey, Lewis MacFarlane, Roddy Morrison (Captian), Anthony Bowman.

Travis Smith, Eba Mescauskas, Gin Tas, Ruairidh Lister Campbell

Rugby this weekend at Oban Lorne




This Saturday the Greenmachine have a tough home match against Newton Stewart RFC. The visitors to Glencruitten have won all four of their opening fixtures and will provide Oban with a stern test.

Last season’s matches with Newton Stewart are an example of how hard the task will be on Saturday with Oban going down narrowly 15-12 at home in last season’s corresponding fixture and a 31-20 loss away from home.

Oban Lorne will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways after a disappointing start to the season with only one win from four matches. The ingredients however are available to produce a successful season. Some poor decision making, lapses in concentration and a lack of good luck has made an impact on the results so far this season.

Kick off is 3pm at Glencruitten, bar and clubhouse open as normal.


SATURDAY 24/09             COWAL V ARGYLL & BUTE                           WEST DIVISION 4

Argyll & Bute will be looking to build on a positive start to the season as they travel to Dunoon to take on Argyll rivals Cowal RFC.

Argyll have fulfilled four fixtures this season with a 50% winning record. It is hoped a strong squad can make the trip to Dunoon on Saturday to take on what seems to be a much improved Cowal side from last season.

Kick off is 3pm at Dunoon Stadium


SUNDAY 25/09                  GRANGEMOUTH v OBAN LORNE LADIES               NATIONAL LEAGUE 2

The ladies section play their first away game of the season on Saturday travelling to take on Grangemouth RFC. The ladies will be looking to build on last weekend’s 38-0 triumph over Helensburgh RFC that sent the team to the top of the league.

The team will be without Winger Ashley Lazzara who is in the RAH in Glasgow recovering from her injury in last weeks match – thought off all at the club are with Ashley for a speedy recovery!


SUNDAY 25/09                  CARTHA v OBAN U16’s                                                  NORTH U16 GROUP

Oban U16s recorded a convincing 70-7 win over Hillhead Jordanhill last weekend. This Sundays fixture away to Cartha is in doubt due to Glasgow School Holidays. Oban U16s will travel to Campbeltown to take on the U16s there if the fixture in postponed.


SUNDAY 25/09                  CARTHA v OBAN U14’s                                                  NORTH U14 GROUP

The U14s had a big home win against Strathaven last Sunday. Like the U16 match the U14 meeting is also in doubt due to school holidays.


SUNDAY 25/09                  OBAN U14’s v STRATHAVEN                                       NORTH U13 GROUP

Oban’s U13 team are at home to Strathaven on Sunday. There is a chance this match will be played as a S1/2 fixture that will include the U14 players. Kick off TBC

Oban Lorne lose out at Kilmarnock



Oban Lorne’s stuttering start to the season continued last Saturday with a disappointing 25-10 loss away to Kilmarnock.

The Greenmachine were hoping to build on the previous weekends 16-10 home win against Irvine. Coach Corrie Louw fielded a strong team with a variety of changes, Carl Lay starting his first match of the season with Robin MacQueen and Tommy Sutherland completing the front row. A late call off from Andrew MacDougall saw Player/Coach Corrie Louw return to the side partnering an inform Jack Baxter in the second row. Also returning to the team after a two match absence was No. 8 Connor MacDougall, with Struan Smith unavailable Vladi Mihov returned to the line up with Stephen Povey completing the back row.

The Back Line made two changes, powerhouse winger Calum MacLachlan in place of Tom Harrison and the creative Rudolphe Bartrande replacing the unavailable Dave McCabe. Despite the fvie changes the Green machine were in a confident mood going into this match having beaten Kilmarnock home and away last season.

The match started with both teams looking for territory rather than possession, Kilmarnock gaining the upper hand and getting three points for their efforts after an infringement at a ruck. A series of missed tackles led to Kilmarnock scoring the first try of the day, with the conversion sailing wide Kilmarnock lead 8-0.

This seemed to kick start Oban as they controlled the rest of the half, with great disruption at the line outs from Jack Baxter, and the front row causing problems. Kilmarnock couldn’t cope with the pressure. A finely struck penalty from Finlay Carmichael brought Oban back into the game, and a try after a powerful run from Craig Wright took the scores to 10-8 for Oban at half time.

A lot of encouragement from coaching trio Louw, Harrison, and Collins at half time, and a few changes to the side as the coaching staff looked the freshen things up.

Oban started the second half with the wind against them, and soon found themselves under a lot of pressure from Kilmarnock. To many collisions in contact going the way of the home team for Oban’s liking. Soon Kilmarnock were in front again with another infringement at the breakdown costing Oban the lead.

The play swung end to end with neither team really finding there feat until Oban found themselves camped on Kilmarnock’s line, subsequently ending in the ball being held up over the line and penalty after the scrum saw the home side clear. A big missed opportunity for Oban. This was as close as Oban would come to scoring in the second half, Kilmarnock however took advantage yet again of poor defence from Oban to score under the posts the conversion making it 18-10 to Kilmarnock.

In what would be the last play of the match a blind side move which saw Debutant winger Aleksejs Maslakovics knock on and the ball go towards touch, Vasil borisow tried to keep the ball alive by throwing the ball back into play. Unfortunately for Borisow the ball landed straight into the Kilmarnock Scrum halves hands and saw him finish off in the corner. Final score 23-10.

On another day the match could easily have gone in Oban Lorne’s favour with some poor decision making and a lack of cutting edge costing the team on the end.

With three losses in four matches it has been a very disappointing start to the season for the Greenmachine who are in a bad run of results taking the poor finish to last season also into account.

This Saturday Oban Lorne will hope to get back to winning ways but have tough match at home to unbeaten Netwon Stewart. The visitors have won all four matches this season and recorded home and away wins against Oban last season.

Kick off 3pm at Glencruitten.



Oban Lorne Ladies open the season in style!



Oban Lorne Ladies welcomed Argyll rivals Helensburgh RFC to Glencruitten on Sunday in their first match of the season and the first ever 15 aside meeting between the two teams.

Having struggled for players last season and moving down to National Division 2, the Ladies started the new season strongly, fielding a team of 17 players Training numbers hit a high of 23 on Thursday night with the team preparing well under the guidance of coach Corrie Louw.

Both experienced and new players were quick to get stuck in and make their mark on the Helensburgh defence, with a couple of near misses in the first ten minutes and maintained pressure on the opposition. This eventually led to an opening try after a clever offload by winger Kelly Lamont to fullback Ashley Lazzara in towards the posts (5-0). The ladies had opportunities to increase their lead that were unfortunately missed, with drizzly weather creating slippery ball handling conditions but centre Kirsty Sinclair battled through the defence to score under the posts and front row Ellie MacNiven successfully converted (12-0). MacNiven showed further skill on the pitch with a quick pop ball to prop Laura MacCormick who bulldozed through the defence and over the line for a third try (17-0). The remainder of first half was played on the half way line with possession switching back and forth, and impressively strong tackles by Helensburgh preventing the girls in green from making much ground, however another try by Sinclair, again converted by MacNiven, took the half time score to 24-0.

The second half opened with an impressive third and, shortly after, fourth try for Sinclair, who shrugged off tackles from left and right to score under the posts once again, with both conversions also successful (38-0).  Play was halted whilst MacNiven received treatment for a shoulder injury and eventually left the field. The remainder of the game was played out without any great pressure on either try line.

Unfortunately, after a particularly hard tackle, Lazzara required treatment on the pitch for a potential head and/or neck injury, and the referee decided to call the game to a close with a few minutes remaining. This meant a comfortable opening win for the Green Army at 38-0.

Helensburgh have just established a competitive ladies side, training as a development team last year and even lending players to Oban to help them in fulfilling the few fixtures they played during last season. With this in mind, the ladies formed an impressive opposition and the game was a great opportunity to introduce some of Oban’s new players to the sport and shake off any early season nerves before moving onto more experienced opposition in the coming weeks.

Oban take on Grangemouth away next Sunday (25th) and will look to build on this week’s success by continuing to practice their set plays at training this week. The ladies train every Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm at Oban Rugby Club, Glencruitten, with newcomers and experienced players very welcome!


Greenmachine win under Friday night lights!



Oban Lorne won their first game of the season in the clubs first ever Friday night game played under floodlights at Glencruitten.

A midweek request by the opposition to move the game was approved by Oban Lorne who worked hard throughout the week to make the floodlights upto match standard. Many thanks goes to Burdens for supplying additional lights and to Hamish Matheson at Lonan Properties who sponsored them.

The Friday night fixture was a welcome change for the Oban Lorne squad who now had twins Cameron and Struan Smith available for the first time this season. Both went straight into the starting lineup along with Radi Maksimov at hooker, Lorne MacLachlan at flanker, Vasco Borisov at Scrum Half meaning Finlay Carmichael started at stand off.

Irvine kicked off at Glencruitten under referee Willie Malones instruction, with the sides watched by a large crowd and the underfoot pitch conditions very favorable considering the afternoon’s rain.

The visitors made a good start to the match and pressurized the Oban half after a clever kick from their No 10 that gave them some good field position to work with. Oban cleared with a long kick from Finlay Carmichael to ease the pressure.

Oban created the first scoring opportunity in the game within the first 10 minutes. From a scrum in their own half Oban played a well worked back row move with the ball eventually finding Captain Craig Wright who went on to break into the 22 but was eventually brought down by and equally fast Irvine defender. The Greenmachine were now pressurizing the Irvine line. Debutant Hooker Radi Maksimov was unlucky not to score and was brought down by a high tackle on the tryline. Frustratingly from the resulting 5 metre scrum, Oban conceded a penalty and the visitors cleared.

The hosts remained in their own half and eventually won a kickable penalty after 15 minutes. Carmichael stepped up and slotted it over with ease for a 3-0 lead.

A period of play began with both sides hungry to move the ball around but were being undone by several handling errors.

This proved to be Irvine’s downfall when on 30 minutes their outside centre fumbled the ball in the Oban half. Craig Wright reacted quickly to this and hacked the ball through under the posts and managed gather and touch down ahead of Irvine’s scrambling defence. Carmichael converted for a 10-0 Oban lead.

Irvine hit back almost immediately from the kick off reducing the score to 10-3. Oban though regained their lead, again immediately from the kick off when Oban winger Tom Harrison was shoulder charged by a defender. Carmichael again made the visitors pay and Oban regained a 10 point lead.

Just before halftime the weather conditions turned for the worse with sever gales blowing across the pitch and heavy rain falling making conditions very difficult for players and supports alike.

The teams survived to the halftime break where Oban freshened up the pack with two front row changes. Robin Macqueen replacing Radi Maksimov and Carl Lay coming on for Connor Ferris.

Weather conditions worsened at the start of the second half. This however could not deter Carmichael from extending the lead to 16-3 as he slotted over a difficult penalty kick only two minutes into the half.

Irvine had more of the ball for the next 15 minutes or so as they looked to get back into the game. Oban’s defence was superb and kept any attacking opportunities to a minimum. On 55 minutes Oban managed to clear their lines after a superb tackle from replacement winger Alessandro Favro resulted in a penalty for Oban Lorne.

Five minutes later Oban again turned the ball over as Lorne MacLachlan worked hard in the tackle to win the ball and another penalty for the home side.

From the resulting lineout 10 metres from the line, Prop Carl Lay made a storming run only to be brought down short of the line. Oban suffered from a bout of ‘white line fever’ and could not convert the pressure into a score, panicking on a loose ball and giving the defence a scrum after a knock on.

Oban managed to win the ball back in the scrum but again panicked with the move resulting in a poor drop goal attempt from Dave McCabe. After wasting two clear opportunities to score Irvine broke free upfield very quickly and kicked into Oban’s half.

The visitor’s pressured the line and had a try disallowed for crossing. Irvine attacked the line again and were unlucky not to score with a kick over the line that was taken over by and Oban defender. Irvine scored after a move from a resulting 5 metre scrum to reduce the score to 16-10 and bring them straight back into the game.

The Oban support and management team were extremely frustrated at watching their team look certain to score then allow the opposition to break free and hit back for a way back into the match.

The Greenmachine had the best of the closing 10 minutes of the game , dominating possession of the ball close the Irvine line. Play was stopped with a head injury to an Irvine player after a strong run at the line from Cammy Smith. Oban again failed to capitalize on their good attacking position as the opposition relieved their pressure and the game fizzled out into a hard fought win for Oban Lorne.

Oban deserved to win the game after controlling the majority of play, but need to become more clinical in finishing off promising attacks.

The performance of the Oban pack was outstanding with Prop Tommy Sutherland in particular having a great game.

This was a much improved performance from last weeks 30-15 loss at Allan Glens with Irvine providing a very tough test for the Oban team.

Oban’s attention turns to Saturdays away league fixture away to Kilmarnock. The men in green won both games against Kilmarnock last season with the away victory in January being one of Oban’s best performances away from home in recent seasons with a 34-21 win.

Kick off is 3pm in Kilmarnock. Oban Lorne’s next home game is against Newton Stewart on Saturday 24th of September.

Oban Lorne team v Irvine

  1. Ferris, R. Maksimov, T. Sutherland, J. Baxter, A. MacDougall, S. Povey, L. MacLachlan, S. Smith, V. Borisov, F. Carmichael, R. MacKay, C. Smith, C. Wright, T. Harrison, D. McCabe
  2. MacQueen, C. Lay, A. Favro, R. Bertrand