Tower 10s triumph for Oban Lorne
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
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.
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.