Oban Lorne women edged out at An­nan

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

IT WAS an early start for the Green Army ladies, who de­parted Oban at 7am in or­der to ful­fil a 1.30pm kick- off against An­nan War­riors for the BT Women’s Bowl.

The ladies, who have strug­gled for num­bers in re­cent games, were ex­pect­ing an impressive turnout of 17, but last-minute can­cel­la­tions meant they trav­elled with­out sub­sti­tutes.

De­spite Oban main­tain­ing a large pro­por­tion of pos­ses­sion through­out the game, the first half proved to be very tight with re­gards to the score­line. The only points came from an Oban penalty, kicked by hooker El­lie MacNiven.

Con­di­tions were slip­pery un­der­foot, and this meant han­dling was scrappy at times for both sides.

Un­for­tu­nately, a nasty in­jury to An­nan’s cap­tain led to a 20-minute de­lay in the game, with the half-time whis­tle even­tu­ally show­ing the Green Army just marginally ahead with a 0-3 lead.

As the sec­ond half be­gan, it was clear that this was to be the nature of the match. Green Army cap­tain Camilla Les­lie com­mented that the ladies barely let An­nan out of their own half for the du­ra­tion of the match, also dom­i­nat­ing in the scrums. How­ever, just af­ter the match re­sumed from half-time, An­nan’s winger Jane Ste­wart found a gap in the de­fence to suc­cess­fully open the try scor­ing.

Im­pres­sively, ac­cord­ing to the An­nan Rugby Face­book page, this was their top try scorer’s 24th of the sea­son, but a missed con­ver­sion meant the War­riors led by the small­est of mar­gins (5-3).

Once again some strong tack­les and un­break­able de­fen­sive lines by both sides meant a fur­ther 15 min­utes passed with­out points. It was af­ter 60 min­utes that the Oban ladies man­aged to push over the try line to re­sume the lead once more.

Young scrum-half Lucy Ste­wart clev­erly used an Oban penalty ad­van­tage to cut in close to a ruck and dive over the line. By this point, MacNiven had left the pitch due to in­jury so was un­avail­able to kick. The score re­mained at 5- 8.

Af­ter the Green Army dropped to 14 play­ers, An­nan did not match num­bers, and MacNiven was not al­lowed to re­join the match as the op­po­si­tion’s coach deemed her ‘un­fit’ to play.

As the game played out, Oban ap­peared to be on track for the win when un­for­tu­nately An­nan’s Ste­wart man­aged a break for the line once again to take the score back into the home team’s favour (10- 8).

With 10 min­utes of the game re­main­ing, Oban fought back hard, but An­nan’s player ad­van­tage proved too much for the vis­i­tors, mean­ing an ex­tremely tight game ended with An­nan War­riors clinch­ing vic­tory by just two points.

The ladies wish An­nan good luck as they progress to the next round of the bowl against ei­ther Glas­gow Uni or Howe of Fife, while they re­turn home to fo­cus on their league games.

They cur­rently dom­i­nate the BT Women’s Na­tional League Di­vi­sion 2, sit­ting just one point clear at the top.

Their next game will take place on Fe­bru­ary 12 away to Lis­more be­fore they re­turn home on Fe­bru­ary 19 to play what will un­doubt­edly be a grudge match against An­nan War­riors.

Ac­tion from the BT Women’s Bowl match at An­nan.

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