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Shawlands 10 – 16 Lochaber
West Regional Division 3
Lochaber claimed victory in a battle of brawn on Saturday after a dogged defensive display against a tough Shawlands side.
It was third against fourth as Lochaber travelled south to take on the Glasgow side on Saturday as both sides were looking to exert pressure on the top end of the table.
Lochaber had won the previous encounter between the teams earlier in the season but were eager not to let complacency creep into their game. Saturday’s encounter was set to be just as physical as the last with a big forward pack turning out for Shawlands.
And it didn’t take long for them to make an impact on the game after just a few minutes when Shawlands opened the scoring after crashing the ball up with their forwards. Lochaber responded well to this early set back with two quick penalties from the boot of Jonathan McCook to take the lead 5-6.
Despite some shortfalls in size, Lochaber’s scheming forward pack was dominating Shawlands scrum in the first half which gave the backs clean ball to run off which was causing Shawlands all sorts of problems. As play continued Lochaber kept up the pressure and from a penalty they kicked for the corner. The forwards set up a maul which was stopped by the defence but after a couple of pick and goes prop William Stewart spotted a gap in the defence and strode through for the try to make it 5-11.
Shawlands came back at Lochaber but the visitor’s defence held strong to keep them out.
From the kick off for the second half Shawlands failed to deal with the kick and with the ball loose on the ground, all McCook had to do was gather the ball and slide over for the try to make it 5-16. As the second half wore on, Shawlands starting making substitutions which helped their scrum out bringing on extra weight to shore it up.
Lochaber were starting to pick up several niggling injuries and lost John Jones to a head knock which reduced them to 14 players as they travelled with a bare 15. The game went back and forth with Lochaber’s scrambling defence working hard to keep Shawlands out. Eventually their big number six took the ball from a tap penalty and worked a mismatch with one of the smallest players on the pitch to score. This late try brought the score to 10-16 which is how it would end.
Lochaber’s win keeps them in third place in the league, now just 12 points adrift of second place. They now have a week off before travelling to league leaders Glasgow University Medics on January 26 for a 2pm kick off. Venue TBC.