Lorne Ladies turn on the style
ON A GREY and drizzly day in Oban, the Green Army warmed up in slippery conditions with 14 players, ready to welcome Annan Warriors to Glencruitten. Annan travelled with subs, but unfortunately no experienced front row, so uncontested scrums were requested from the start of the match. This was a disappointment to Oban, who had won almost every one of their opposition’s scrums in their previous meeting just a few weekends previously, a 10- 8 win for Annan in the BT Women’s Bowl. However, the team were quick to adjust their game plan and moved players out of position in order to create the best defence for Annan’s set-up.
The Oban ladies’ team were concentrating on correcting those mistakes which recently cost them the BT Women’s Bowl to Annan by just two points, and it showed in their imposing defensive line. Annan were unable to maintain forward momentum when they had ball in hand, and Oban did a solid job of keeping them in their own half.
The score was, however, opened in the first half by Annan after a breakthrough by one of their quick runners on the wing just as they had done in the previous match. This was to be the only generosity the Oban ladies afforded them for the remainder of the match though.
High school student and scrum-half Lucy Stewart scored a retaliatory try before the halftime whistle to bring the score to 5-5 going into the break. This impressively means that 17-yearold Stewart has scored in every game she has played from the Oban ladies thus far.
It was a tough and physical game that continued to play out after the half-time break, in worsening muddy conditions. The referee’s decisions appeared to be working against the girls in green, and frustrations were beginning to show on both sides. As tempers began to run high, a quick talk by captain Camilla Leslie and vice- captain Laura MacCormick brought Oban back in order and they worked hard to stick to their own game plan. Leslie led by example, driving through Annan players left and right to dive over the line and clinch the winning try of the game (10-5).
The final whistle granted Oban ladies a well deserved, although narrow, victory over Annan Warriors to maintain their position at the top of the league. A special mention goes to Rachel MacDonald and Selina Keppie, who both played a very impressive first game with the senior ladies, having progressed through the Oban High School girls’ teams. Player of the match was given to Lyndsay McWaterstone, who stood in at fullback, flanker and stand- off during the match as needed and did an excellent job in all positions.
After such a near miss in the Bowl, this was expected to be Oban’s toughest game of the season thus far and it did not disappoint, with the return game still to be played in April – one not to be missed by supporters. The win increases Oban’s lead at the top of the league to five points over Annan.
In the shorter term, the Green Army will host the Royal Dick Vet College Ladies at 2pm on March 5. Ladies training is at 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays with everyone welcome.
Oban Lorne Ladies celebrate after their 10-5 win over Annan. Photo: Stephen Lawson