Lochaber pipped at the post

The Oban Times - - SPORT -

A last-minute Cowal try de­nied Lochaber a dra­matic re­sult on Satur­day as their heroic sec­ond-half come­back fell just short as they went down 26-33.

Hav­ing been 26-0 down at half-time, Lochaber scored four tries with­out re­ply in the sec­ond half to level the match. How­ever, with just min­utes re­main­ing, a last-gasp Cowal try dashed any hopes of what would have been a re­mark­able Lochaber vic­tory.

Af­ter Lochaber had ini­tially kept Cowal out, a maul formed right un­der the posts from which Cowal’s hooker then peeled off the back to score. To add to the poor start, Lochaber were then re­duced to 14 men for 10 min­utes when Daniel Thomas re­ceived a yel­low card for a high tackle.

The vis­i­tors were gifted their sec­ond try when two Lochaber play­ers failed to deal with a high ball and the op­po­si­tion wingers were able to cap­i­talise to score. Cowal kept the pres­sure up and some poor tack­ling al­lowed for an­other break through the de­fen­sive line for a run in from 20 me­tres.

Lochaber fi­nally started to get some pos­ses­sion and worked their way into Cowal’s 22. Just as Lochaber were start­ing to gain some mo­men­tum, it quickly turned around and Cowal were able to make their way down the pitch to score their fourth try in the last play of the half to make it 0-26 at half-time.

Af­ter a frank half-time dis­cus­sion, the match would turn on its head as Lochaber came out fir­ing in the sec­ond half. Pick­ing up the tempo and run­ning di­rect lines, Cowal couldn’t cope with the in­ten­sity of Lochaber’s at­tack­ing play and, just a few min­utes into the sec­ond half, Christo­pher Simp­son crossed the line with An­drew Bell con­vert­ing.

Lochaber’s and Simp­son’s sec­ond try came af­ter Lochaber were awarded a penalty. Simp­son took a quick tap penalty five me­tres from the try-line. A dummy pass fooled the on­rush­ing Cowal de­fence, leav­ing a big hole for Simp­son to score.

Cowal were then re­duced to 14 men when one of their play­ers was yel­low carded for a high tackle which spurred on the home side to go chas­ing scores. And it didn’t take long un­til they got one af­ter a well worked pas­sage of play saw the ball passed to John MacKer­lich who broke through the tackle to run in from 30 me­ters to score, with Bell con­vert­ing again to make it 19-26.

The mo­men­tum re­mained with Lochaber and with around three min­utes re­main­ing they were awarded a penalty five me­tres out and once again it was Simp­son who took a quick tap and got across the line. Bell con­verted to level the scores and se­cure a re­mark­able come­back.

Lochaber re­ceived the ball from the restart and were start­ing to make their way up the pitch but, in an­other twist, lost the ball for­ward. Cowal were able to cap­i­talise on the mis­take and got the ball wide where they had a num­bers ad­van­tage and their winger had the pace to beat Lochaber’s de­fence to make it 26-33 and se­cured the vic­tory for the Cowal men.

Photo: Iain Fer­gu­son, alba.pho­tos.

Lochaber’s Wil­liam Ste­wart fends off the this Cowal de­fender.

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