BT WEST DIVISION 2 BISHOPTON 11-36 OBAN LORNE Oban Lorne travelled to play Bishopton in their last away fixture of the season on Saturday looking for another win to keep them in the hunt for 2nd place in West Division 2. A strong squad departed Oban just with a few changes in the back line from previous weeks. With Craig Wright and Fergus McCoss both unavailable Iwan Roberts returned to Centre and Finlay Carmichael to stand-off with Graham MacEachen taking the Full back position and youngsters Kieron Morrison and Robert Maclaughlin on the wings. After a bright start and early possession an Oban knock on allowed Bishopton to break clear and after a number of missed tackles the crossed the Oban line for a try. This was not the start Oban had wanted and they were soon to go further behind when Bishopton were awarded a penalty in front of the Oban posts, this was easily converted and Oban found themselves 8 points down with the same number of minutes played. Oban did not panic and managed to get into the rhythm of the game with the loose forwards linking well with the backs to create a number of opportunities. A well struck Penalty kick by Finlay Carmichael got Oban on the board to make it 8-3. Oban continued to press and it was Stephen Povey playing in the Front row who scored Oban’s first try finding space out wide he crossed in the corner. Finlay Carmichael was on target with the conversion to extend Oban’s lead to 10-8. Next on the scoreboard was young Kieron Morrison who was given the opportunity to play on the wing with the coaching team hoping his quick feet and sidestep would be well utilised out wide. After some great play from the forwards took play deep into the Bishopton 22 Carmichael noticed the narrowed defence and his pin point kick allowed the young winger to gather the ball over the line to score his first senior try. This brought an end to the first half and coach Johnston asked for a bit more accuracy both in Attack and Defence in the 2nd half. Bishopton were next to score though when the referee awarded another penalty in front of the post and this was again converted to make the score 22-11 in Oban’s favour. Lorne MacLachlan then notched a quick fire double of tries to give Oban a bit of breathing space. The first try came from some fine support play after a line break from Captain Roberts Lorne was on hand to cruise over behind the posts and give Carmichael an easy conversion 29-11. The next try was even better when a well worked move off the back of the scrum saw McDonald pick the ball up and take the scrum half out of play allowing MacLachlan to once again cross the line under the posts!. These 2 tries capped off a Man of the Match performance for MacLachlan with him winning a number of turnovers for the Oban team linking up well with the backs and generally being a thorn in the Bishopton side all game. With 20 mins of the game to go the coaches made a couple of changes to try and freshen up the attack! Calum MacLachlan was introduced as he continues his rehab from his recent injury and the Big man wasted no time in showing how difficult he is to stop with a number of great carries taking numerous defenders to try and stop him. The second row pairing of Eric Roberts and Kyle Graham got through a power of work both in attack and defence with a number of great hits and strong aggressive carries. They are really developing into a great combo. With Oban continuing to control the majority of the possession the last try of the day came when Calum MacLachlan was fed the ball out wide on the touch line he set off on another bullocking run deep into the opposition 22 and when he was finally tackled managed to get the offload away to David Cameron who was in a great support position on his inside shoulder. The young centre who had another cracking game burst the attempted tackle to score under the posts again giving Carmichael another easy conversion for a final score of 36-11. Another fantastic away performance from the Green Machine who have only lost three away games all season. Another bonus point victory keeps them firmly in 2nd place with 3 home league games to play. The next Home game is the 3rd March when Wigtownshire make the long journey up the road from Stranraer for their first visit to Glencruitten. Kick off 3pm.
Oban v West of Scotland U18 Regional Cup Group B Oban were delighted to welcome West of Scotland Rugby Club to Glencruitten. This was the second match in the group stages for the U18 team who performed well in their league before Christmas. The Oban side is strengthened by players from Lochaber RFC who make the journey down to Glencruitten regularly. West were the strong favourites going into this match and the young Oban team knew they would need to step up to get a result on the day. The game was refereed by Eddie Ingram and kicked off at 1pm. Stephen Lawson was on hand to take the team photo for the season which is always appreciated, but after the photo shoot it was down to business. Oban started well in the match keeping possession but finding it difficult to break down the visitors. Some strong runs from Craig Cook, Ewan Shearer and Kieron Morrison provided a good platform on occasions for Angus Neil to ship the ball wide. Jordan Norman enjoyed the space on the wing but West were up to the challenge defensively and Oban didn’t manage to get any points on the board. The first 20 minutes would have to be given to Oban even though the score remained 0-0; towards the end of the first half West got the journey out of their legs and started to look sharp with the ball in hand. The well drilled and organised Bearsden side took full advantage of some weak tackling and crossed the line with a well executed move down the right wing. This set the tone for the remainder of the half with West of Scotland stepping up a gear and the Oban side looking stretched at every play. The second half saw some slick play from West which helped them to open up a significant lead, Oban struggled to find breathing space with their kick chase game and the west wing and full-back relished the opportunity to run the ball back at a disorganised Oban defence. Finn Charlton was making West work for the ball at the breakdown along with Stuart MacQueen but it was all too little too late for the Oban team. Oban did have two occasions of pressure on the try line of West but on both occasions they were unable to finish. The difference in the teams was evident and the lessons will be learned by the Oban players, it was good to face a high calibre opposition at home and congratulations to West who were well deserved winners on the day and we would expect them to progress well in the competition. Final score ended up Oban 0 – West of Scotland 52. The Oban U18 team will face Cartha Queens Park RFC at home on Saturday 23rd of February; this will be another tough test for the West Highland boys who face another well established Glasgow team. After this the team will progress to a semi-final in either the Plate, Shield or Bowl depending on how they finish in the group stage. All supporters are invited along to support the boys on the 23rd of Feb and this is followed by a Curry and Quiz night at the club after the Scotland game which will be on the big screen.
TENNENTS WEST DIVISION 2
SATURDAY 12TH JANUARY 2019
Loch Lomond 21 Oban Lorne 29
Oban Lorne travelled to Alexandria to play Loch Lomond on Saturday with the Green Machine looking to get back to their winning ways after a run of defeats in recent games.
With a number of players missing due to work commitments, injuries and illness it was a depleted squad that made the journey down the road.
The coaching team would like to publicly thank the MacLachlan brothers Calum and Lorne for answering an SOS and going above and beyond the call of duty to help out on Saturday a measure of their continued commitment to the club.
Lorne seeing the number of call offs due to the sickness bug doing the rounds decided to travel having been rested for the game as he was carrying a bit of a shoulder injury. His brother Calum currently recuperating from surgery on his knee agreed to go via Lochgilphead to Pick up Daniel Broderick who had missed his connection after working a nightshift.
With Club coach Andrew Johnston also having to pull on the boots for the first time in 18 months to make up the numbers in the front row this was going to be a big ask.
Oban were keen to keep the ball away from the large home pack who had caused some problems for the green machine in the first fixture earlier in the season.
The Oban side were looking to keep the ball moving and attack the width utilising their dangerous backline
After a bright start Craig wright was first to get on the scoresheet after 12 minutes with a trademark dash down the wing outpacing the cover defence for yet another try in a remarkable season. Finlay Carmichael converted the extras to give Oban a 7-0 lead.
Straight from the kick off Owen McDonald showed exactly what Oban have been missing with a fantastic surge. Catching the kick off on the 10m line he broke a number of tackles before surging into the home 22 and crossing the line for a fantastic try. This time the conversion was missed but Oban were 12-0 up.
Oban were playing well keeping the tempo high but the conditions were tricky and a number of knock-ons and handling errors were always going to be part of the game. The Oban pack were struggling to secure the scrum with the much heavier Lomond scrum dominating all day. Time and again the Oban pack were marched back with the sheer weight of the Lomond pack as a result of this Oban were giving away penalties which was giving Lomond opportunities to clear their lines and put pressure on the Oban defence.
After enduring a good spell of pressure Oban broke out of defence again on the half hour mark and after some good link up play the took play deep into the Lomond 22. After a number of pick and goes McDonald was on hand again to crash over the line from 5 yards and extend Oban’s lead to 17 points with another fine try. Carmichael was on target again with the conversion to extend the lead to 19-0.
Oban had their tails up again and were soon to extend their lead again as scrum half Vasco scored a cracking try after some fantastic interplay between the forwards and backs. Keeping the ball moving with offloads out of the tackle and some great lines of running by the backs created the space and the Bulgarian International was on hand to take the Oban lead out to 24 points while at the same time securing the bonus point try.
This brought an end to the first half with Oban leading 24-0. The coaching team made one change at half time with Daniel Broderick replacing Lorne MacLachlan.
Oban were quick to extend their lead early in the second half when Craig Wright was quick to capitalise on a poor Lomond kick out of defence and ran the ball in for his second try of the game.
A mistake in fielding the kick off gave Lomond possession of the ball and they came hard at the Oban defence with a number of pick and goes. Some resilient Oban defending was eventually beaten when the big prop crashed over the line after 50 minutes.
With the Oban pack under pressure at every scrum Lomond were able to keep turning the screw and Oban spent most of the second half defending with the odd break out of defence but never threatening the Lomond line again.
Coach Johnston lasted till the 70th minute before leaving the pitch with a shoulder injury and this forced a bit of a reshuffle with MacLachlan returning to the field again.
With 5 mins of the match remaining Lomond were pressing the Oban line with Oban defending well putting bodies on the line time and again. There were some fantastic tackles going in but there were also some lapses which ended with a number of penalties being awarded to Loch Lomond for High tackles etc. From one of these penalties Lomond surged over the line again with their big guys really hard to stop when they get a run on the ball from 5 yards out. Scram half Vasco injured his knee in defending this and looks like he is going to miss the next few weeks.
It was all Loch Lomond in the last few minutes but the Oban defence held up well to repel the Lomond charges time and again. The referee was losing patience with the number of penalties being given away by Oban as they were throwing themselves into every tackle desperately trying to protect their line. With the last movement of the game he awarded Lomond a Penalty try of persistent infringement by Oban as they defended their goal line gallantly against the massive Lomond pack.
With the Final score Loch Lomond 21 Oban Lorne 29 it was a very satisfied coach who gathered the team at the final whistle to thank them for a fantastic performance. They had stood up to the mark and came away with a bonus point victory against a team that historically has always been a very tough fixture in recent years.
Some standout performances from a number of players across the team, Stanley Lister time and again stripping ball in the tackle, Big Eric Roberts smashing in to tackles, young Kieron Morrison again excelling in the back row, Scrum half Vasco energising the team with his chat, Ferg McCoss showing some great footwork to create space out wide, Craig Wright constantly threatens whenever he gets ball in space but Man of the Match performance was from the Owen McDonald. He was outstanding all day in attack and defence and it was great to have him back in the team.
This win moved Oban Lorne up to 2nd position in the league as they overtook Uddingston who were defeated by League leaders Lenzie on Saturday. Oban will be looking to cement 2nd place when they welcome Uddingston to Glencruiten at 2pm on Saturday for a massive game.
Players would love to have a big home support for Saturday and as such are hoping to attract any ex player to the club for a free Pie and a Pint at half time in the game, let’s get along and support the boys as they look to overturn the defeat down the road earlier in the season.
Oban Lorne U14s also play at home this Saturday against Mid Argyll – kick off 12noon.
Cumbernauld V Oban Lorne
Match Report 17th Nov 2018
Last weekend Oban Lorne were on the road again this time travelling to Cumbernauld for the first of the 2nd round of games in West Division 2. The team travelled looking to get back to winning ways following the disappointing loss away to Wigtownshire the previous weekend.
Oban arrived in good time and after a good warmup where things were looking really sharp the boys were looking to play some good rugby in excellent conditions. Playing with the strong sun on their backs and a bit of a breeze behind them in the 1st Half captain Iwan Roberts elected to receive the kick off.
Big Kyle Graham gathered the kick superbly and went on a charge, good quick ruck ball was one and passed out the line only for a knock on inside the 22 to gift possession to Cumbernauld. They were quick to recycle a couple of phases before passing the ball out to their dangerous centre who crossed for the first score of the day within 3 minutes.
This was a wake up call for Oban who proceded to work there way up the other end of the field from the kick off for Iwan Roberts to cruise over the line for a well worked try. This was converted by Finlay Carmichael to give Oban a 7-5 lead which they were not going to let go.
Craig wright was next on the scoresheet with a trademark run around the Cumbernauld defence to extend Obans lead. Carmicahel was unsuccessful with his kick from out wide give Oban a 12 -5 lead.
Oban were on fire at this point with forwards and backs working really well to keep the ball alive and put the opposition on the back foot. Captain Roberts was next on the scoresheet with a Scything run through the midfield to score behind the posts and give an easy conversion for Carmichael. 19-5.
Oban were to secure their bonus point try after 32 minutes when David Cameron collected a kick from the Cumbernauld stand off around the half way line and took off on a fantastic run right through the middle of the Cumbernauld team breaking a number of tackles on his way. He managed to offload to Craig Wright to speed over the line the again. This took the Oban lead out to 24 points to 5.
Oban were putting the Cumbernauld team under a lot of pressure and this led to them giving a away a penalty inside the 22. With the bonus point in the bag already a quick tap penalty was taken and Calum Maclachlan crashed over the line. The Big prop relishing his return to action after serving a 2 week suspension.
A half time score of Cumbernauld 5 Oban 31 with Oban well in control.
The second half continued in the same vane with Oban controlling large swathes of the match although the Cumbernauld number 8 was a hard man to put down and he along with the 2 centres were the home sides best players on the day.
Steven Parr was next on the scoresheet for Oban, making his first start of the season on the wing after his shinty commitments have finished for this season. A well worked try saw him speed over in the corner a great Oban try. 31-5
Young Lorne Sinclair was impressing again with his workrate around the pitch and support of the ball carrier. He was everywhere and into everything a real all action display. He was rewarded with a fine try after another great Oban break. This was again converted by Carmichael who was having a great day with the boot. 43 points to 5 to Oban.
Craig Wright was to claim his hattrick of tries after another lightning break from good turnover ball by the forwards, the ball was worked wide for the Oban Full back to race away and score again. This already a stellar season with Wright having score over 20 tries already and not even halfway through the season yet.
With Oban cruising a number of changes were made with young James Divers replacing Vasil Borisov at Scrum half and Roddy Morrison and Andy Ritchie coming on to replace Steven Parr and David Cameron on the wings and Michael Mackinnon replacing Man of the Match Kyle Graham in the 2nd row. The big fella has come on in leaps and bounds this year and is still improving with every game.
Calum Maclachlan was given a yellow card with about 10 minutes of the game to go. This was team card for persistent infringements after a number of warnings from the referee. The extra man advantage allowed Cumbernauld back in to the game and they score two late tries to bring the final score to Cumbernauld 17 Oban 50.
Oban have no game this week with the club having a Rugby Force day to tidy up around the clubhouse.
Oban welcome Helensburgh to Glencruitten next Saturday 1st December for the return match of the Argyll Derby. It would be great to get a good support along for this crucial game for Oban as they look to close the gap on the league leaders Lenzie and Uddingston.
TENNENTS WOMENS NATIONAL LEAGUE 1 GROUP A
OBAN LORNE LADIES 17-0 GARIOCH
Oban Lorne Ladies hosted Garioch Ladies from Inverurie on Sunday at Glencruitten in whawas to be a hard fought match with both teams looking for a strong win.
The teams last met in last seasons National Bowl Final with Oban running out comfortable 48-0 winners at BT Murrayfield.
Oban however have been unable to travel to Garioch this season on two occasions stalling what has still been a largely successful season for the team.
A minutes silence was held before kick off led by referee and former Scottish Rugby Presidnet Jim Stevenson.
The match got off to a fantastic start for the ladies in green with Lucy Stewart touching down after some clever hands from the kick off allowing the Oban pack to get the ball out wide. A missed conversion gave a 5-0 score after only a couple of minutes on the clock.
The ladies were almost a different team from the previous games played and were working well together giving great support play. Garioch kept pressure on the Oban side throughout the game and showed why they were unbeaten in the league so far, big hits and quick balls from their 9 meant Oban had to stay alert at all time.
Big hits from captain Laura MacCormick and her forward pack led by flankers Ailsa MacLachlan and Eilidh Shearer kept the Garioch side back for the majority of the first half. The second try of the day came from Stewart again who controlled the game well as fly half and utilised Oban’s strong runners Erika Skofca and Kirsty Sinclair. Stewart converted to bring the score to 12-0. Garioch hit back with some good runs and were on the Oban try line for the first time however the ball was dropped and Heather Fothergill grounded the ball. HT score 12-0.
The second half brought more of the same fantastic rugby from the ladies with a strong defence and good communication the girls proved why they are sitting top of the National 1A group. Wingers Ellen Barlow and Rachel MacDonald used their space well and managed to put pressure on Garioch’s defence all day, along with Selina Keppie’s quick feet and some ‘boshing’ by second row Veronica Speirs, Oban were most definitely playing as a pack, something which wasn’t featured in their last game against Kirkcaldy! A powerful run from Skofca breaking through several opposition players the ball was then passed out to Stewart who used her quick feet and a quick pass wide to Rachel MacDonald who was able to touch down out wide. Garioch again came back and put pressure on the Oban defence but the ball was held up. Frustratingly for the ladies in yellow they just couldn’t break through the Oban line to get points on the board.
Just before full time Rachel MacDonald was replaced by Dominika Radzikca, playing her first game for the girls in green along with newbies Beth Rutledge coming on for injured Evie Henshaw in second row. Aasiyah Patankar also started for Oban Lorne At prop replacing injured Ellie MacNiven and put in a great shift. Notable performances also came from scrum half Audrey Barr with some solid tackles and clever play, also Veronica Spiers who has worked hard this season and the results are showing on the pitch. Flanker Eilidh Shearer and centres Erika and Kirsty also had games. This win means the ‘Green Army’ remain top of the table and will play second placed Ayr Ladies at Glencruitten next week. Specators always welcome and greatly appreciated.
TENNENST WEST DIVISION 2
SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER 2018
WIGTOWNSHIRE 31-14 OBAN LORNE
Oban Lorne were on their travels on Saturday as they made the long trip to Stranraer to play mid table Wigtownshire. The preparation for the game had seen the majority of the squad head down to a hotel outside of Glasgow on Friday night to take some of the travel out of the journey on Saturday morning. The best of plans was negated somewhat by navigational error which saw the team having a detour via Carlisle on the way.
This detour meant that the team only arrived about 30 mins before kick-off, this poor preparation was to have an immediate effect on the game.
Oban started the game with some positional changes due to injuries, suspensions and players travelling to the international game at Murrayfield as well. This was further compounded by a couple of late withdrawals on Saturday morning with Graham MacEachan and Radi Maksimov not being able to make the trip.
This saw a reshuffle in the Oban pack with Vice Captain Stephen Povey moving to Prop and Back Row forward Lorne MacLachlan moving to Hooker.
After a minutes silence for Remembrance weekend the game kicked off on a slippery wet day where ball handling was going to be difficult. Straight from the kick off a knock on by one of the Oban players was gathered by the Wigtownshire Openside who reacted quickest to the knock on and surged past a couple of attempted tackles to score Wigtownshire’s first try of the game in the very first minute.
Oban bounced back and went straight back at the home team and had some good passages of play but could not break down a stubborn home defence. The pitch was very narrow which prevented Oban being able to stretch the Opposition and create the holes in defence which they have been able to create this season.
The menin Green were struggling to get good clean ball from the scrum and Lineout with the rejigged front row under a lot of pressure from a well drilled home pack and Matt Walker did well to get the ball away from the scrum a number of times with the scrum retreating at speed.
Young Lorne Sinclair also had a great shift being asked to throw the ball in at the lineout at the last moment. The Lineout did well just some slight timing issues which can be worked out at training but this improved as the game went on.
A number of handling errors from both teams and some dubious refereeing meant there was very little flow to the game with both sides enjoying some good phases of possession but not being able to create any further scoring opportunities until the last minute of the half.
Oban found themselves camped on their own goal-line with the Wigtownshire forwards playing tight with a number of pick and goes round the side of the rucks. This eventually led to the home sides 2nd try of the game and with the conversion this took the half time score to 12-0 in favour of the home side.
The Second half started where the first half had finished with Wigtownshire getting early territory in the Oban 22 following a midfield penalty. Again some resolute Oban defending kept the home time at bay for a number of phases before the Wigtownshire prop managed to burrow over the line for the third try of the day.
Oban finally manged to string some phases of play together. The Scrum started to steady itself as the opposition tired and this allowed Oban to start generating some quick ball. After a great spell of pressure young Centre David Cameron was on hand to score his third try of the season under the posts. Finlay Carmichael duly converted and Oban were back in the game at 17-7.
Wigtownshire were to come straight back at Oban to score the bonus point try. Again hard work round the fringes from the forwards and Oban not getting off the line allowed the big number 8 to cross the Oban Line.
Oban made a couple of changes with 20 minutes of the game to go with two new players getting their first games for the senior team. Nathaniel Valente came on to the wing replacing Roddy Morrison who rolled back the years yet again to deliver another steady performance on the wing. Michael Mackinnon came on to replace young Ben MacFarlane Barrow in the back row after he took a bang to the head.
Both these players made an impact with some fine tackling and aggressive runs although finding themselves on the wrong side of the referee on a couple of occasions by straying offside.
Oban were to respond again and upped the tempo and the workrate in the last quarter of the match. They were rewarded with another try when Finlay Carmichael took a quick tap penalty and floated a lovely ball out to Valente on the wing and the Fireman manged to cross the line. The referee then proceeded to award a penalty try for an infringement with Wigtownshire not being back ten metres from the quick tap.
Wigtownshire were to respond yet again with another try to bring the final score to 31 -14. A tough one to take for the Oban Lorne team who had hoped to take something away from this game to keep them in contention at the top end of the league.
The travel mishap and the late call offs in the morning took the edge out of the Oban game and they just couldn’t get into their stride. If they have any aspirations of success then these are the tough games on the road that have to be won. The young team will learn from this defeat and it will stand them in good stead for what is still to come.
Oban now shift their focus to this weekend when they are on their travels again to face Cumbernauld. This is the first of the return fixtures of the season with Oban securing a comfortable victory at the start of the season in Oban. A win is vital for Oban to keep in touch with the league leaders Lenzie and Uddingston although Oban have a game in hand against both teams and have to welcome both to Glencruitten in the New year.
Oban Lornes next home fixture is an Argyll Derby with Helensburgh RFC on Saturday 1st of December. Kick off 2pm.
TENNENTS WEST DIVISION 2
TENNENTS WOMENS NATIONAL LEAGUE A
KIRKCALDY 17-28 OBAN LORNE LADIES
Oban Lorne Ladies travelled east with 15 players for the first game of the newly split National Division 1 A group against Kirkcaldy on Sunday. With the league split into two sections Oban Lorne will face Kirkcaldy, Ayr and Garioch in what will be a tough set of fixtures to complete the season.
From kick off the game was unusually quiet and strained from the usually vocal and well drilled Oban side. The first half saw pressure from both sides and was from the start a very closely matched game. To the frustration of Oban’s coaches and players the ladies just couldn’t seem to find their rhythm and were making silly mistakes, giving away many penalties to the Kirkcaldy side. However Oban were persistent in their drilled defence and held off the strong Kirkcaldy side. Eventually Oban managed to put points on the board with a strong run from centre Erika Scofka, easily converted by the reliable boot of Lucy Stewart who converted all of Oban’s trys. A further try in the first half came from Lucy Stewart. Kirkcaldy replied deservedly putting a couple of trys on the board after some big runs.
The second half was more of the same disjointed and clumsy play from the ladies who, despite their win, were themselves dissatisfied with their performance. Hooker Selina Keppie managed to touch down over the line with superb runs from Oban strong forward pack, who were relentless in their tackles all day long. The Oban side were dealt a double blow when prob Ellie MacNiven went off with a shoulder injury and a team yellow card was given after previous offside warnings from the referee. During the 10 minutes of play Oban were playing 13 to Kirkcaldy’s 15 and did not concede a try, showing how far their solid defence has come on in recent months. Kirkcaldy managed a quick interception on the halfway and scored their third try of the day. Oban’s last try came from Rachel MacDonald after some quick hands from Audrey Barr and Lucy Stewart giving a 28-17 win.
Despite the ladies being dissatisfied with their own performance they came away with a strong win and a bonus point after traveling with 15 players and only having 13 players on the pitch for a time – an impressive performance in itself. Oban ladies travel to second placed Garioch next Sunday, a game which will surely test the ladies to their limits. Oban remain top of the table and train on Tuesdays at 6pm and Thursdays at 630pm.
Oban Lorne Ladies next home fixture is on Sunday 11th of November with Garioch RFC making the trip to Glencruitten. Kick off 2pm.
TENNENTS WEST DIVISION 2
Oban Lorne 71 Clydebank 7
Match Report 27th Oct 2018
Oban Lorne welcomed mid table Clydebank RFC to Glencruitten on Saturday for the first time in over four years on a glorious autumnal day. Oban were looking to get back on track after last weekends disappointing defeat away to promotion rivals Uddingston and new that Clydebank were going to be another difficult test as they had been on a decent run of results themselves.
Oban only made a couple of changes from last weeks defeat with Finlay Carmichael returning to the starting Lineup at stand off and Big Eric Roberts returning to the boiler room in the 2nd row.
The home side started brightly and were on the scoreboard within the first two minutes of the game. The kick off was received well from the start and passed to Calum MacLachlan who took off down the centre of the pitch bouncing people out of the way left, right and centre. Nobody could tackle the big prop and when he was eventually halted a couple of yards out from the line the ball was popped up for vice captian Stephen Povey to cross for Oban’s first try of the game. This was duly converted by Finlay Carmichael to give Oban a 7-0 lead.
Oban were on the front foot straight from the kick off again with ball being shipped wide for Craig Wright to sprint down the wing for the first of his tries of the afternoon.
The men in green were rampant at this stage of the game and two further tries were scored in quick succession with Oban crossing for the bonus point score after only 15 mins of the game played.
Oban were breaking the line with ease and once in behind the Clydebank defence were unstoppable. Four further tries were scored in quick succession. The main talking point of the match was to come about five minutes before halftime, when Calum MacLachlan was taken out beside the ruck and in attempting to remove himself from the illegal tackle was alleged to have stamped on the opposition player. This led to an almighty brawl with a number of punches being thrown. When things had calmed down the referee decided to send off Maclachlan and also the Clydebank N06 for the punches before the half time whistle to give a half time score of Oban 45 – Clydebank 0.
This was the performance that the team has been searching for the last few weeks where fast mini rucks and accurate passing into space making it very hard for the defence to get organised.
The brawl at the end of the first half upset the rhythm of the game and with some changes at half time with the 2nd row combo of Kyle Graham and Eric Roberts being replaced by Matt Walker and Lorne Sinclair bringing increased dynamism and the introduction of Callum Murray onto the wing in place of Roddy Morrison.
Oban struggled to match the intensity of the first 40 minutes and allowed Clydebank into the game with a soft score from a short range lineout.
This galvanised the Oban team and they were soon back to their try scoring feats with a further four tries in the second half. Some outstanding tries were scored with Oban mixing play between forwards and backs to great effect.
Craig Wright was to finish with four tries for the day bringing his total for the season so far to nineteen tries (95 points) in eight games, a fantastic achievement and not even half way through the season.
There was an early contender for try of the season when after some great interplay between the forwards young Lorne Sinclair broke free from inside the Oban 22 and broke a couple of tackles to take play to halfway and then offloaded the ball to Stanley Lister who sprinted in to score a great try. The prop showing he has lost none of his back row pace after being moved into the front row this season.
Some outstanding performances from Oban players on the day with outstanding contributions from Calum MacLachlan (before his red card), Stanley Lister, the 2nd row pairing of Roberts and Graham showing a lot of promise, massive shift from the back row with Owen McDonald pulling the strings and Stephen Povey leading from the front with some fantastic broken field running. The halfback partnership of Divers and Carmichael and the threat out wide from the Craig Wright.
The Man of the match performance though was Lorne MacLachlan who chased and harried and turned over a lot of the Clydebank ball. The challenge for places in the Back row is such that nobody is guaranteed a start and this appears to be bringing the best out of the players.
In the end a convincing 71-7 victory for Oban Lorne which seemed to be the theme for the weekend with the U18’s and U16’s both involved in High scoring games away to Strathaven. The U18’s winning 69-36 on Saturday and the u16’s coming away with an amazing 82-59 result on Sunday.
Great things are on the horizon with the Conveyor belt starting to turn and with a number of players already broken through into the senior side this year but at least another half dozen or so really good players waiting in the wings to come through the future is looking bright.
Oban Lorne had extra reason to celebrate with the club being awarded the Scottish Rugby Club of the Month award for Aug/ Sept. A fantastic achievement for all attached to the club.
This Saturday Oban Lorne are at home again and welcome fourth placed Bishopton RFC to Glencruitten. The teams have not met in over a decade with Bishopton only being recently promoted into the division. The ‘Bish’ lost out 48-0 to Uddingston at home last weekend meaning this should be a very winnable game for Oban Lorne. Kick off this Saturday at Glencruitten is 2pm along with the U18s and U16s who are also at home against Stewartry RFC.
The Wales v Scotland Autumn International will also be shown live in the clubhouse on Saturday. All local rugby supporters are welcome to come along and enjoy Saturdays busy day of rugby at Glencruitten.
TENNENTS WEST DIVISION 2
UDDINGSTON 15-7 OBAN LORNE
SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2018
Last weekend Oban Lorne travelled to Uddingston for another top of the table clash in West Division 2. Uddingston have had a strong start to the season and this has seen them sitting in second place with Oban just below them in third position.
A fairly settled Oban team travelled with some confidence following a good home win last weekend but knew this was going to be a tough game to win. A few last minute changes saw a shuffle in the backline with Oban welcoming back Bulgarian international scrum half Borisow Vasil, however with Finlay Carmichael not shaking off the effects of his dental work midweek he was moved out of position to stand off for the day. Oban also welcomed back number eight Owen McDonald following his two week suspension.
Oban started well controlling the possession and territory in the opening 10 minutes and things were looking positive when Owen Mcdonald crossed for the first try of the game on 15 mins after a well worked backline move was worked to wing and Roddy Morrison offloaded to the big number 8 to crash over the line. This was converted by Craig Wright to give Oban a 7-0 lead. Little did we know that this was to be Oban’s only score of the game but there was no lack of effort and opportunities.
Uddingston struck back a couple of minutes later. A knock on from the kick off gave them a good attacking platform and a well worked move saw their centre break the tackle and just mange to make the try line to bring the score back to 7-5 to Oban.
Oban were becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of consistency by the referee with his interpretations changing from minute to minute. This is an area that the coaching team are acutely aware of and looking at ways of changing the mentality of players when things are going against them.
This frustration led to Uddingston getting a series of penalties and working their way up to the Oban 5m line when the prop broke from the back of the ruck and was tackled short of the line but was allowed an extra movement to place the ball over the line and the referee awarded the try much to the dismay of the Oban boys. They knew that they were now right up against it.
Oban worked hard to get back in the game but were just not clicking with the fluidity of the early season. Radi Maksimov had a great run just being knocked into touch a yard or so short of the line. Calum MacLachlan similarly had a great breenge through the Uddingston defence and was adjudged to have been held up over the line although he was adamant that he had grounded the ball.
Half time came with Uddingston enjoying a 10-7 lead.
A few changes were made early in the 2nd half with a reshuffle in the backline with Borisov moving to his normal scrum half position and Captain Iwan Roberts moving in to stand off. Craig wright moving to 13 also brought a bit more fluidity to the Oban backline but Uddingston were to score next. Another penalty kick to touch allowed a lineout 5yards out and a powerful rolling maul carried there prop over the line for a 15-7 lead.
This was to be the final score of the day and the next 30 mins was a lot of effort with no real reward. Oban huffed and puffed but just couldn’t break down the well organised defence. Whenever they did manage to string phases together it always fizzled out with the last pass going to ground or not being given.
A disappointing scoreline but improved team performance from last week Oban will need to up things yet again with Clydebank coming to Glencruitten next week.
Oban can take some comfort in pushing the top 2 team in the league so close away from home in the last few weeks losing only 8 points over the 2 games including the 27-24 loss away to league leaders Lenzie. With Oban to welcome both these teams to Glencruitten in the New Year neither team will be relishing the trip North.
Oban now have two home games on the bounce now with Clydebank this weekend coming and Bishopton who are sitting just below Oban in fourth spot visiting the following weekend. Another couple of hard games with another step up in performance required.
This Saturdays match with Clydebank RFC kicks off at 3pm at Glencruitten.