Tower 10s tri­umph for Oban Lorne

The Oban Times - - Sport -

OBAN Lorne RFC hosted their in­au­gu­ral ‘Tower 10s’ tour­na­ment at the week­end with six vis­it­ing teams and the home club putting out two sides for the com­pe­ti­tion.

This was the start of the 2017/18 sea­son for Oban Lorne, who will host Hill­head/Jor­dan­hill this week­end at Glen­cruit­ten.

Oban Lorne were drawn in a group with Lochaber, In­ver­ness Craig Du­nain and Queens­ferry with He­lens­burgh, Cowal, Isle of Mull and Oban BaBas mak­ing up the other group of four. ‘The for­mat of this com­pe­ti­tion al­lows all teams to play 80 min­utes of rugby with all teams also tak­ing part in a fi­nal of some sort,’ ex­plained or­gan­iser Mur­ray Hamil­ton. ‘ We are de­lighted that these teams trav­elled through to Oban and hope­fully they will have had a good week­end of rugby. It is a good for­mat for pre-sea­son as teams will get to play a va­ri­ety of other sides and still get tested phys­i­cally with scrums and li­ne­outs.’

The day kicked off on both pitches at Glen­cruit­ten af­ter the show­ers had cleared and the weather stayed clear for most of the day. He­lens­burgh and Cowal both recorded wins in their first matches, as did Oban Lorne and Craig Du­nain.

The home side dom­i­nated in the group matches with only Craig Du­nain run­ning them close. Good link­ing play be­tween cap­tain Craig Wright, Iwan Roberts and Fin­lay Carmichael was com­ple­mented by pow­er­ful work in the scrums and at the break­down from sea­soned for­wards Cor­rie Louw, Tommy Suther­land and Daniel Kemp. The younger play­ers in the loose were mov­ing well around the park and the sup­port­ing play

Rugby

pro­vided plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for the likes of Stephen Povey, Jack Bax­ter, Jack Stra­chan and Vladi Mi­hov.

The fi­nals were played in the af­ter­noon and the bucket fi­nal was first to be con­tested, Cowal played Queens­ferry in an en­ter­tain­ing match which had the Cowal team com­ing out on top. The bowl fi­nal was played be­tween Lochaber and Mull and the Fort Wil­liam team took the bowl back to Banavie af­ter a great show of team­work and com­mit­ment from both sides.

In­ver­ness Craig Du­nain se­cured a place in the shield fi­nal where they faced off against the Oban BaBas side which was made up from Oban Lorne 2nd XV play­ers and friends of the club. It was a closely-fought af­fair but the In­ver­ness team won out in the end and played some classy rugby. For­mer Oban Lorne player Struan Simp­son led the side to vic­tory and it was great to have Craig Du­nain boys travel down for this com­pe­ti­tion.

The cup fi­nal was a clash be­tween two West Re­gional Divi­sion 1 sides – Oban Lorne and He­lens­burgh – and brought pos­si­bly the most phys­i­cal match of the day with both teams play­ing in­tense and fast flow­ing rugby. There was a stale­mate in the game un­til late in the first half when He­lens­burgh took the lead. The vis­i­tors looked to have ex­tended their lead shortly af­ter this but Oban’s blushes were spared thanks to some fantastic cov­er­ing de­fence from David McLaugh­lin. Oban man­aged to even the try count through Tommy Suther­land and Carmichael added the ex­tras just be­fore the break.

The sec­ond half worked more in the favour of the home side. Oban kept pos­ses­sion of the ball and changed their tac­tics to ap­ply more pres­sure on He­lens­burgh. Even­tu­ally Oban Lorne man­aged to cross the line again to pro­vide a more com­fort­able lead and again the ex­tra two points added from the wing by Carmichael.

Cracks started to show and late on in the half, and af­ter some changes to the Oban side, they man­aged to get two more tries which were both con­verted to se­cure a 28-5 win for Oban Lorne in the first Tower 10s cup fi­nal.

Pres­i­dent Sandy Rokitta was on hand to present the win­ning teams with their tro­phies and say a few words of thanks to all those in­volved. The hope is for this event to be­come a reg­u­lar date on the cal­en­dar for Oban and or­gan­is­ers hope it will grow in years to come.

Oban Lorne v Hill­head/Jor­dan­hill

Oban Lorne are in ac­tion this week­end against Hill­head/ Jor­dan­hill. It will be a 2pm kick off at Glen­cruit­ten. Hill­head Jor­dan­hill are in the Na­tional leagues so this should be a re­ally steep test for Oban Lorne in the run up to their league start­ing.

The Green Ma­chine’s first com­pet­i­tive fix­ture of the 2017/18 sea­son will be away to fa­mil­iar op­po­nents Garnock RFC in the pre­lim­i­nary round of the West Re­gional Shield on Satur­day Au­gust 19. The win­ner of that tie will host a last 16 fix­ture against the win­ner of either He­lens­burgh or Cum­ber­nauld RFC with that tie due to be played on Satur­day Au­gust 26.

Garnock and Oban Lorne will meet again on Satur­day Septem­ber 2 in the first West Divi­sion 1 fix­ture of the sea­son. Kick off 3pm at Glen­cruit­ten.

Pho­tos: Stephen Law­son

Oban Lorne, win­ners of the in­au­gu­ral Tower 10s tour­na­ment.

Oban Lorne RFC pres­i­dent Sandy Rokitta hands over the Tower 10s tro­phy to club cap­tain Craig Wright.

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