Green Ma­chine lose in East Kil­bride

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

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.

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