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Oban Lorne started 2018 with a daunting trip to Bishopbriggs to take on West Division 1 leaders Allan Glen’s RFC. Glen’s topped the league going into Saturday’s meeting with eight wins from eight while Oban occupied 10th place, sitting above only Irvine and Helensburgh. The sides had met earlier in the season at Glencruitten with the visitors recoding a convincing 76-14 win.
The men in green have been improving since their opening performances of the season and have had some closer results in recent times with their previous game being a 23-17 win away to Argyll rivals Helensburgh RFC.
With a struggle for available front-row players available for Saturday’s game, experienced veteran prop Andrew ‘Pads’ Johnston was recalled to the team as well as starts for Kyle Graham in the second row and Daniel Broderick at No 8.
The Green Machine performed remarkably well in the first 40 minutes of the game and led the league leaders 20-17 at half-time.
Two tries were awarded to Oban in the first half. One, a try of the season contender from hooker Radi Maksimov, who made a storming run from the halfway line to score. The other try came from an intercepted pass by centre Cammy Smith who finished off well. These tries, combined with two conversions and two penalties from scrum-half Finlay Carmichael, resulted in a surprising but well-deserved lead for Oban at the interval.
The start of the second half was a close affair but flowed well under the superb guidance of match referee Rab McHenry from Dumfries.
Oban were doing well in all areas of play to keep Allan Glen’s at bay with man of the match Kyle Graham and Daniel Broderick putting up a fantastic show in the physical forwards battle.
After 60 minutes the score stood at 24-20 to the home side. From here until the final whistle, fitness and match sharpness took its toll on Oban as the hosts ran in four unanswered tries to run out 52-20 winners.
Despite losing by a margin of more than 30 points, the Oban team were left delighted with their efforts in the match that could have potentially brought a much-needed win.
Oban’s performance was summed up on Allan Glen’s Facebook page by president Robert Jamieson, who commented: ‘Hard-fought game yesterday, hope you guys had a good day despite result. Glen’s made to play right up to final whistle. All the best for rest of season. Bob Jamieson AG RFC president.’
Saturday’s result leave Oban Lorne 10th in the league but, with a number of winnable fixtures coming up, the club will hope to lift themselves clear of the relegation zone.
This Saturday Oban Lorne entertain mid-table Annan for the first home game of 2018. Kick off is at 2pm with the game to be played at Glencruitten. A. Johnston, R. Maksimov, T. Sutherland, K. Graham, J. Baxter, S. Povey, R. MacKay, D. Broderick, F. Carmichael, I. Rhys Roberts, C. MacLachlan, C. Smith, C. Wright, R. Morrison, V. Borisov.