Derby win for Oban

Oban Lorne 47 He­lens­burgh 19 Tennent’s West Divi­sion 2

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

Oban wel­comed He­lens­burgh to Glen­cruit­ten last week­end for the sec­ond leg of the Ar­gyll derby in West Divi­sion 2.

The home side were look­ing to re­peat the score­line achieved in He­lens­burgh where they ran out 48-29 win­ners in Septem­ber.

Oban were forced to make a cou­ple of late changes to the start­ing line-up with play­ers be­ing de­layed by work com­mit­ment’s but the reshuf­fle didn’t ap­pear to upset the rhythm too much.

Michael Mackinnon re­placed Kyle Gra­ham in the sec­ond row and young Ben Mac­Far­lane-Bar­row came in to re­place Stephen Povey.

It is en­cour­ag­ing to see the num­ber of young play­ers com­ing through and com­pet­ing for places this sea­son.

Oban started brightly and David Cameron fin­ished off a pacey back line move to score in the cor­ner with five min­utes of the game gone.

Fin­lay Carmichael nar­rowly missed the con­ver­sion from out wide.

He­lens­burgh were quick to bounce back with a penalty kick after one of the Oban play­ers strayed off­side at a ruck in front of the posts. The He­lens­burgh kicker made no mis­take with his at­tempt and the score was back to 5-3.

Oban replied by up­ping the tempo again and, after a foray deep into the Burgh 22, the ref­eree awarded a penalty to Oban. Scrum-half Vasil Borisow shaped to give the ball to big prop Calum Ma­clach­lan who was steam­ing in on a great line. This at­tracted the Burgh de­fence and the Bul­gar­ian in­ter­na­tional strolled across the line after selling a great dummy. Carmichael added the ex­tras from in front of the posts and Oban were 12-3 ahead.

Oban were find­ing their rhythm and were to add to the score sheet with an­other fine try from Craig Wright. The full-back cruis­ing across the line after be­ing re­leased into space by a some fine back play. Carmichael was on hand again to nail the ex­tra two points with the boot and Oban had stretched the lead to 19-3.

Oban were to se­cure the bonus-point try after half an hour when cap­tain Iwan Roberts danced his way through the op­po­si­tion de­fence to score a fan­tas­tic in­di­vid­ual try. His fancy foot­work and ac­cel­er­a­tion get­ting him over the line un­der the posts. This gave Carmichael an­other easy con­ver­sion to ex­tend Oban’s lead to 26 points to three at half-time.

A num­ber of changes were made at half-time with Kyle Gra­ham re­plac­ing Michael Mackinnon, who had an­other great 40 min­utes. He is grow­ing game by game and prov­ing to be a re­ally use­ful player. Oban also wel­comed back David Mclaugh­lin to the team for only his sec­ond game of the sea­son after break­ing his ribs in the first game of the sea­son.

Big Calum Ma­clach­lan was next on the score­sheet for Oban. In typ­i­cal barn­storm­ing style, the big prop from Lu­ing was at his rampaging best on Satur­day, swat­ting de­fend­ers out of his way in a man of the match per­for­mance. The big fella will be a ma­jor loss to the squad in the com­ing months as he goes in for knee surgery this week.

David McLaugh­lin then rolled back the years as he col­lected a kick from Burgh and scythed through the vis­i­tors’ de­fence to be dragged short only a cou­ple of yards from the line.

Oban were then forced into an­other reshuf­fle as hooker Radi Mak­si­mov had to leave the game with an an­kle in­jury. This forced a ma­jor reshuf­fle with Borisov hav­ing to move to hooker from scrumhalf and a re­jig of the back line. With Oban well ahead, the coach­ing team wanted to chal­lenge the squad with putting play­ers out of po­si­tion to test them and see how they would re­act.

This cre­ated a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for He­lens­burgh as Oban took some time to set­tle and they were re­warded with a try after a pe­riod of sus­tained pres­sure in­side the Oban 22.

This took the score to 33-10 in Oban’s favour with 20 min­utes of the game to go.

Oban re­sponded well and man­aged to lift the tempo again and young Lorne Sin­clair took a great line off Iwan Roberts to burst through the Burgh de­fence to score a crack­ing try.

Craig Wright was to round off the scor­ing for the day with yet an­other try. He is cer­tainly hav­ing a sea­son to re­mem­ber scor­ing his 24th try of the cam­paign. The fly­ing ma­chine rev­el­ling in the ex­tra space be­ing awarded to him from full-back. Fin­lay Carmichael was on hand again to add the ex­tra two points to bring the fi­nal score to Oban 49, He­lens­burgh 10.

Tough

This week­end Oban wel­come Strathaven to Glen­cruit­ten for the sec­ond time this sea­son after the La­nark­shire team came up early on in the sea­son for a West Shield fix­ture where Oban were com­fort­able vic­tors. The Ar­gyll men were made to work hard when they vis­ited Strathaven in the league a cou­ple of weeks later and know it will an­other tough en­counter next week­end. Kick-off 2pm.

Satur­day’s win lifts Oban Lorne back into sec­ond place in Divi­sion 2.

The club are also host­ing a Christ­mas ceilidh in the club­house this Satur­day night with the Dice Ceilidh Band pro­vid­ing the mu­sic. All mem­bers and non-mem­bers are wel­come to at­tend.

Pho­tos: Stephen Law­son

Oban Lorne were pre­sented with a new set of strips by the Perle Ho­tel Group. Pic­tured are Iwan Rhys Roberts, 1st XV cap­tain; Hamish Math­e­son, club chaiman; Oban Perle Ho­tel food and bev­er­age man­ager Grig­o­rios Pavlou; David McLaugh­lin, 1st XV player and as­sis­tant coach; along with Sandy Rokitta, Oban Lorne club pres­i­dent.

Kyle Gra­ham bursts through the He­lens­burgh de­fence.

Oban Lorne cap­tain Iwan Roberts dives over for a try.

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