The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Gar­i­och aim­ing for

Shire side not treat­ing Oban Lorne lightly in Bowl

- BY JAMIE DURENT

Gar­i­och Ladies head coach Mark Cowie is de­ter­mined to de­fend their BT Women’s Bowl crown when they face Oban Lorne at Mur­ray­field to­mor­row.

The reign­ing cham­pi­ons were vic­to­ri­ous at the home of Scot­tish rugby 12 months ago but face stern op­po­si­tion in Oban, who have a 100% record in Na­tional 2 and have con­ceded just 12 points.

Cowie ex­pects a phys­i­cal con­test and cer­tainly will not be un­der­es­ti­mat­ing a team from the league below Gar­i­och, with the two sides due to face each other next year af­ter Con­nie Louw’s op­po­si­tion sealed pro­mo­tion.

For the sec­ond year in a row, Gar­i­och will play their part in “Sil­ver Satur­day”, with seven tro­phies up for grabs. The fi­nals of the BT Cup com­pe­ti­tions will pre­cede the 1872 Cup showpiece be­tween Glas­gow War­riors and Ed­in­burgh.

Na­tional 1 head coach Cowie wants to en­sure the sil­ver­ware is once again mak­ing its way back up to In­verurie.

He said: “There’s a real buzz around the place and the girls are ex­cited. We can’t wait to get out there and try bring the tro­phy back again.

“The fact they’re the league below means ab­so­lutely noth­ing – they’re not go­ing to be easy to come up against.

“They’re play­ing a team in the league above and the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, so they have noth­ing to lose.

“It’s been a mixed bag for us in the league this sea­son. There’s some girls left over from last year who know what to ex­pect but four of our start­ing line-up are new to rugby this sea­son. They’ve been

“There’s a real buzz around the place and the girls are ex­cited”

putting in star per­for­mances.”

Last year they de­feated Kirk­caldy 29-20 to claim the title, with Com­mon­wealth Games ju­doka Kim­ber­ley Renicks – a sil­ver­medal­list at Glas­gow 2014 – scor­ing twice and se­cur­ing the player-ofthe-match award. She is com­pet­ing at the Euro­pean Judo Cham­pi­onships this week.

Gar­i­och de­feated Orkney 55-0 in the semi-fi­nals, with Re­becca Best­wick scor­ing two tries. Club cap­tain Jess Sil­cocks was also on the score­sheet and Alisha Ross made five of her nine kicks.

Oban’s ladies are tak­ing part in their first na­tional fi­nal in the club’s 15-year his­tory and aim­ing to cap off a mem­o­rable cam­paign hav­ing al­ready clinched the Na­tional 2 title.

Hav­ing over­come Na­tional 1 out­fit Howe of Fife 29-5 to reach the fi­nal, cap­tain Laura MacCormick is de­ter­mined to rise to the oc­ca­sion.

MacCormick said: “We’re in­cred­i­bly ex­cited for the fi­nal. We’ve put a lot of hard work into the

 ??  ?? OP­PO­NENTS: Laura MacCormick, cap­tain of Oban Lorne and Jess Sil­cocks, cap-
OP­PO­NENTS: Laura MacCormick, cap­tain of Oban Lorne and Jess Sil­cocks, cap-

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