Oban Lorne women edged out at Annan
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.