Gutsy Lochaber outdone by strong Shawlands pack

LOCHABER RUGBY 7/10/17 Callum Boyd and his team mates battled through bouts of torential rain during Saturday’s match. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

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Lochaber 5, Shawlands FP 24

A dogged Lochaber defence couldn’t prevent a big Shawlands pack from scoring four tries to seal victory in the league.

Lochaber welcomed the Glasgow side to Banavie on Saturday, one week after both teams progressed to the semi-finals of the bowl competition.

Shawlands came into this game in good form, having beaten league leaders Bishopton the previous week, so Lochaber knew they were be in for a tough afternoon. In the opening exchanges, the match progressed to a very physical confrontation with the big Shawlands side trying to smash through the Lochaber defence which continued to hold strong until almost half way through the first half.

Lochaber had a good spell of possession and territory but they gave away a penalty in Shawlands’ half. The visitors kicked for territory and, from the resulting lineout and a missed tackle, Shawlands were through to score under the posts for the first points of the game against the run of play.

But the home side rallied well and turned the ball over just after the restart. They worked their way down into the corner and centre Callum Boyd got the ball down over the line after some great attacking play to make the score 5-7.

Shawlands responded well, however, and got their second try of the game after a quick breakaway opened up space on the right wing which they utilised to score.

Lochaber looked to retaliate straight away with another try but it wasn’t to be. After some quick hands moving the ball from right to left, second row Mark Gibbings almost made it to the line but in the tackle that prevented him scoring, Gibbings suffered an injury to his knee, damaging his medial ligament.

In the second half, Shawlands were able to control possession a lot more with Lochaber unable to get any real hands on the ball. Shawlands scored a further two tries from close range after significant amount of pressure on the Lochaber defence. On both occasions the Glasgow side managed to find a hole in the Lochaber defence to squeeze the ball over the line.

Lochaber continued to attack the Shawlands line when they managed to get their hands on the ball but were unable to find a way through the defence.

With Cowal also losing to Police Scotland Glasgow, Lochaber remain third in the West League Division 3 and will now look towards this weekend’s fixture away to Mull. Kick off 3pm.