Green Machine lose in East Kilbride
OBAN Lorne travelled to Calderglen Park, East Kilbride, recently for the return leg of the first game of the season, from which EK scraped a 13- 8 victory at Glencruitten. It seems to be one of those seasons for the men in green, missing an array of players due to injuries and suspensions, most notably talismanic captain Craig Wright. Ten personnel changes from the previous week’s loss at home to Allan Glen’s gave a big chance for a few individuals to give coach Corrie Louw a selection dilemma in the coming weeks.
The tone of the match was set early with both teams settling into rhythms, but it was East Kilbride who got the first score of the game after a long period of good Oban defence. The home side went off the top at the lineout and found a gap in the midfield to score just to the left of the posts and, with the conversion successful, the score was 7- 0. One mistake from Oban, one try to East Kilbride.
The next score of the match is a possible try of the season contender, with the Italian tackling machine that is Alessandro Franzo receiving an early pass from stand- off Finlay Carmichael, chipping over the East Kilbride defence and getting fortunate with the ball bouncing straight back into his hands and darting in at the corner. The conversion missed but a fine finish from an impressive Franzo.
East Kilbride hosted a sponsors’ lunch at the weekend, and the crowd obviously enjoyed the wine a little too much with plenty of goading and banter coming towards the pitch throughout the whole match, sometimes leading to tempers getting the better of players.
The next score of the game came out wide on the left side. Numbers seemed to be there in defence but a dummy and go from the EK player saw him through to the line to take the score to 14-5 after the conversion was successful.
A bit of a sucker punch for Oban as great defence became a feature throughout the whole game, with hard tackles good organisation, good work on the floor, but most of the time leading to nothing as they couldn’t keep possession for any sustained period.
The last score of the first half, and the game came from a lineout on the Oban five-metre line. After two or three peels and pops and players running in all directions, the ball ended up over the Oban line and the try was awarded to make it 21-5.
In the second half, neither team really looked like scoring. An early yellow card for Andy MacDougall drew moans even from some of the EK support after the EK player slipped while carrying the ball resulting in MacDougall’s arms connecting with his head.
Shortly after tempers frayed not aided by a vociferous EK home support who were dealt with in a appropriate manner by the referee who was having a good game.
From the resulting penalty East Kilbride opted for the corner and tried their rolling and popping lineout again which was quashed. The home support were geed up from the incident prior to this and desperate to secure all five points. A break wide saw their big second row go close, but for ‘big beardy’, as he was nicknamed for the day, Calum MacLachlan tackling him into touch and with this the end of the game.
Coach Louw spoke to the boys of how proud he was of every player in this match, only the first time the team had lined up this way and to go away to top of the league and hold their own was commendable. Big performances from players all over the park, Ben McNiven starting his first game at fullback and making a big impression, Steven Parr starting on the wing and competing well against a stuffy outfit, Alessandro Franzo and Tommy Sutherland having the highest tackle count on the pitch by a mile, and Dougie Pender coming out of retirement to help his beloved Oban Lorne out.
West Regional Shield
The Green Machine take on Argyll and Bute rivals Helensburgh RFC at Glencruitten on Saturday in the first round of the West Regional Shield competition.
The neighbouring Argyll teams have already met this season with Oban Lorne recording a convincing 47-7 win in league duty at Helensburgh.
The ’ Burgh have struggled for results this season and find themselves bottom of West Division 1 with only one win.
Oban Lorne will be taking nothing for granted against the visitors on Saturday and will hope to have a strong squad available with a number of players recovered from injury, including captain Craig Wright, Richard MacKay, Lorne MacLachlan and Dave McCabe back from suspension.
Kick- off this Saturday is at 1.30pm to allow for extra time if required.
The Under-18s will be playing as a curtain-raiser to the shield fixture at noon against Garnock/ Birkmyre.
West Regional Bowl
Argyll and Bute RFC travel to take on Division 3 side Loch Lomond in the West Regional Bowl on Saturday. Argyll will be hoping for a strong squad to take on a team one league higher. Youth rugby Under-18 West League Ardrossan 5 Oban Lorne 46 Oban Lorne U18s built upon a good performance in Newton Stewart last week with a convincing 46-5 win at Ardrossan.
The U18 side have been building up some momentum over the past few weeks under the guidance of coach Murray Hamilton with positive results and an upsurge in playing numbers.
With Ardrossan short of players, Cartha Queens Park and Isle of Arran helped the hosts to fulfil the game.
This Saturday Oban U18s have a home game against Birkmyre/Garnock at noon. This game will be a curtainraiser for Oban Lorne’s Argyll derby against Helensburgh at 1.30pm. Under-16 West League Oban Lorne 60 Cartha Queens Park 0 The Oban U16 side continued their impressive form with a big win in awful conditions at Glencruitten. The U16 side coached by Tommy Sutherland, Gordon Shearer and Matt Corns have improved vastly since the start of the season and find themselves sitting in third place in the West League.
This Sunday the U16s have a home game against unbeaten Glasgow Hawks who beat Oban 33-26 earlier in the season. Kick- off TBC at Glencruitten. Under-14 West fixtues Oban Lorne 41 Cartha Queens Park 5 Oban U14s recorded a big win against Cartha Queens Park on Sunday. Impressive for Oban were scrum-half Kenni Gray and centre Lewis Budge. The U14s have no fixture this Sunday Under-13 West fixtures Oban Lorne 7 Hamilton 8 Oban’s U13 team lost out by one point in an entertaining match. P7 players from Etive Vikings Louie MacFarlane and Fergus Taylor made their debut for the team with both players doing extremely well. George Gilbert also impressed with a long-range try. This Sunday the U13s travel to take on Waysiders Drumpellier. BT Womens National League 2 Royal Dick Vet College 5 Oban Lorne Ladies 24 Oban Lorne Ladies travelled to Edinbrugh to play the Royal Dick Vet College on a wet Sunday afternoon. Oban Lorne Ladies travelled with a strong and heavy pack of forwards.
The majority of the first half was spent in RDVC’s half, with Oban applying heavy pressure using their forwards to burst through the RDVC defence.
The heavy pressure paid off in the end for Oban with their first try of the game coming from Georgia Mitchell, though unfortunately Ellie MacNiven did not manage to convert.
There were outstanding tackles from Emma Roxbrugh, Nicole Taylor, Chrissie Leigh bell and Ana Rodriguez (who played her first full game).
The strong pack of Camilla Leslie, Ellie MacNiven, Laura MacCormick and Georgia Mitchell were much more overpowering than RDVC when going into contact resulting in them being able to break the line.
Lorne’s second try came from a powerful drive from forward Laura MacCormick but unfortunately MacNiven failed to convert. Before half-time, Oban managed to get them- selves a third try, again from Georgia Mitchell, which Laura MacCormick did convert.
Oban started the second half and immediately applied pressure causing RDVC to fumble the ball forward. Scrum to Oban. Unfortunately, in the wet slippery conditions, Ellie MacNiven twisted her knee as the scrum collapsed and had to leave the field of play for the remainder of the game.
During the second half, the Oban defence were tested and RDVC made it difficult for them to get the ball out to the wings.
The home side then managed to break the Oban defensive line, scoring a try which was not converted to make it 5-17.
A scrum during the recent under-18 game against Newton Stewart.