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Tennent’s West Regional Division 3
Banavie played host to Lochaber for the final time this season, with the home side claiming a five-point league victory over second-bottom Hyndland.
Tries from Christopher Simpson and Conor Taylor, complemented by the steady boot Jonathan McCook, was enough to see off their Glasgow opposition, despite a late rally from the visitors.
With the previous fixture between earlier in the season which Hyndland edged 29-24, Lochaber knew they were in for a tough match, despite the last points difference between the town teams in the league.
Hyndland had the first opportunity to get points on the board but their fly-half missed wide of the posts which set the tone for his kicking game, missing all three of his kicks at goal.
It was Lochaber instead who got the first points of the match with a try early in the first half. After several phases, the forwards worked the ball up to the try line where they shipped the ball out to the backs and Christopher Simpson found the gap in Hyndland’s defence to score, with Jonathan McCook converting to make it 7-0.
Fifteen minutes later, Hyndland responded with a try of their own to make it 7-5 before the half time break.
In the second half, Lochaber changed both props with James Young making his return after a long injury but continued to find joy at the scrum. However, the home side made things hard for themselves as they continually failed to take advantage of the space out on the flanks when in possession.
Eventually it looked like Lochaber had got their second try after McCook dummied a pass to Simpson under the posts to run in and score, but the referee brought play back with a penalty to Hyndland for obstruction.
With Conor Taylor now on the field, the bruising number eight looked to make an immediate impact off the bench with a pick and go from the back of the scrum. Taylor made a run for the corner but two players tackled him in to touch as he stretched for the line. He did eventually get his breakthrough when Lochaber had an overload on the flank close to the line, scrum-half Campbell Wilson threw the ball to Taylor who didn’t need the help outside him as he brushed off the defenders to touch down over the line to make it 12-5.
With less than five minutes remaining, McCook kicked a penalty to make it 15-5 to all but guarantee the win. Hyndland were not finished, however, and their forwards were able to cross the line in the final play of the game to make it 15-10 at full time for what would be a mere consolation try.
Lochaber now have a long wait till their final league fixture away to Birkmyre on Saturday March 30 after the original fixture was postponed due to a water logged pitch.