Ar­gyll and Bute teams reach cup fi­nals day

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

Oban High School U16s reached their sec­ond suc­ces­sive ap­pear­ance at Scot­tish Rugby’s School Fi­nals Day with a hard-fought 24-5 win over Ar­drossan schools on Wed­nes­day last week.

This makes for a big day out for Ar­gyll and Bute at fi­nals day with South Ar­gyll Schools (Lochgilp­head, Tar­bert, Is­lay and Camp­bel­town) also play­ing at BT Mur­ray­field’s back pitches in the Bowl Fi­nal.

Oban and Ar­drossan fought hard to get their semi-fi­nal tie played with the weather and CalMac ferry timeta­bles caus­ing is­sues in the build-up to the match. The play­ers also had to deal with 50mph winds and driv­ing rain mak­ing for very chal­leng­ing play­ing con­di­tions.

De­spite the weather, both teams did their best to cre­ate some good at­tack­ing rugby in a low-scor­ing open­ing 15 min­utes or so to the game.

Oban in­creased their pres­sure as the first half wore on and even­tu­ally breached a strong and well-dis­ci­plined Ar­drossan de­fence as tries from Kenni Gray and Naithan McCul­loch gave a 12-0 half-time lead for the home side.

Rory Reade and Bai­ley Wild from Tober­mory High School have been a great ad­di­tion to the team this year and were hav­ing their best game in an Oban jersey. Reade im­pressed in the scrum and made some great car­ries, while Wild made some fan­tas­tic runs out wide to put Ar­drossan on the back­foot.

Blair Mac­Far­lane con­trolled the ball well at stand-off, al­low­ing Gray and McCul­loch to score a fur­ther try each, giv­ing Oban a com­fort­able 24-0 lead.

Ar­drossan, to their credit, kept their spir­its up and scored a very well-de­served try in the clos­ing stages as Oban ran out 24-5 win­ners.

After just los­ing out in last sea­son’s Bowl Fi­nal against Auchin­leck Academy, Oban High will face Galashiels Academy in Wed­nes­day’s Na­tional Plate Fi­nal on the BT Mur­ray­field back pitches. Gala are renowned for be­ing one of the stronger schools in Scot­tish rugby’s Bor­ders heart­land and will pro­vide a huge test for the Oban play­ers. Kick-off at BT Mur­ray­field is at 2pm on Wed­nes­day De­cem­ber 5.

South Ar­gyll Schools U16 will be con­test­ing the Bowl Fi­nal also on the back pitches at 2pm against the Royal High School.

Hav­ing two teams rep­re­sent­ing Ar­gyll and Bute at na­tional fi­nals day is a huge boost for the sport in the area with six of our sec­ondary schools rep­re­sented within the two teams.

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