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Lochaber 59, Moffat 0
A nine-try blitz saw Lochaber demolish a hapless Moffat side in this season opener played in glorious sunshine at Banavie on Saturday.
The switch to a new league added extra spice to a game that saw a determined Lochaber side get its season off to a winning start.
The match was by no means a walkover for the home side, despite the scoreline, and Moffat put in a brave effort. But in the end the visitors had no real answer to combat the power and pace of the Lochaber players and were never able to gain the upper hand long enough to convert any possession they did have into points.
The home side had to take to the pitch in their newly presented alternate strip, sponsored by the Crofter Bar, given the similarity of their new home jerseys to Moffat’s black and gold colour scheme. Lochaber’s home strip for the new season is being sponsored by Leith.
Sadly for the ‘Rams’ that was the only advantage they enjoyed over their hosts during a torrid afternoon which saw Lochaber centre Jonathan McCook put in a man of the match performance in notching four tries and seven conversions.
As well as McCook, flying machine Euan Larter grabbed two touchdowns, with one apiece coming from Rory MacKay, John MacKerlich and Findlay Ireland.
The home pack provided a solid platform for the backs, with Lochaber forwards dominating in the set-piece – James Lucas notably on good form stealing several Moffat lineouts.
The visitors’ defence was unable to cope and when Moffat’s under pressure stand-off repeatedly tried to clear his lines by booting the ball up the pitch, it simply allowed, McCook, Larter and company to run amok in the mid-field.
Lochaber senior coach Stewart Sandison was pleased to get off to a winning start. Speaking after the match he said it had been a bit of a scrappy encounter, but considered it a reasonable start to the season.
‘We’ve still got four or five players to come back which will increase competition for places. They’re a young side and they got a result – plus it was a nice day for playing rugby,’ he told us.
Lochaber will face a stiffer test this Saturday when they travel to Bishopton, who also comfortably won their first game of the season, crushing Lanark 51-12.