Narrow defeat for Oban Lorne
OBAN Lorne took on midtable East Kilbride RFC at Glencruitten on Saturday as the home side looked to build on last weekend’s 28-12 win against bottom of the league Irvine RFC.
The Green Machine have been struggling for a consistent team this season but have rallied over the past couple of weeks to gather a more settled and consistent squad.
Front row options still pose a problem for Oban with Liam Burns and Tommy Sutherland missing for this game. Prop Darren Miller started his first game of the season while Cammy Smith also started after his try-scoring appearance last weekend. There was also a return in the backline for powerful centre Callum MacLachlan.
Saturday’s match was a physical affair with both forward packs cancelling each other out at the breakdown. Oban failed to create any rhythm to their game with a misfiring lineout and a struggling scrum denying them any constant possession.
Despite struggling at the set piece, Oban led the first half 3-0 with a Finlay Carmichael penalty. The hosts’ defensive shape was also holding well after a barrage of attacks from a big EK pack.
Oban started to tire in the second period as the visitors hit back with a penalty to tie the score at 3-3.
The game could have gone either way at this point with EK dominating territory and possession but Oban looking dangerous on the counter with a couple of promising breaks.
A series of powerful plays from the visitors resulted in the first try of the day with 15 minutes to go giving Oban a 10-3 deficit to recover from going into the closing stages.
The East Kilbride try seemed to waken the men in green as they dominated the remaining stages of the game. A Carmichael penalty with 10 minutes to go sailed narrowly wide before Oban started a barrage of attacks on the tryline.
Oban looked to score on a number of occasions with powerful runs from the likes of Connor Ferris, Jack Strachan and Corrie Louw. The away defence held firm but started to become ill-disciplined and lost a player to the sin bin with a few minutes remaining. Oban pushed and pushed for a try which eventually came on the last play of the game with prop Connor Ferris forcing himself over the line.
Unfortunately, the conversion attempt was narrowly missed, meaning the visitors took the spoils 10-8 in what was a very physical encounter.
The Oban performance met the standards expected from the side over the few years showing that huge improvements have been made over the past few weeks after a couple of heavy defeats.
This Saturday Oban make the long trip to face fellow league strugglers Stewartry RFC in Castle Douglas in what could prove to be a season defining game.
Oban Lorne’s next home fixture is against league new comers Greenock Wanderers RFC on Saturday October 21.