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Oban ladies are through to the National Shield competition following a crushing 38-0 home win over West of Scotland on Sunday.
Despite abysmal weather and a depleted squad of only 16 players, the hosts launched a concerted attack on their Glasgow visitors that never let up until close of play.
The importance of the tie wasn’t lost on the young Oban team who won the National Bowl competition last year. Having lost to Cartha 26-7 the previous week, this would be their last chance to secure a place in the Shield this time around. From the off, the home side made their most of their opportunities as cold hands led to fumbling from the opposition scrum.
With some big pushes from Ailsa MacLachan in the Oban scrum, the hosts made inroads after five minutes with great finishing footwork from Erika Skofca leading to the opening try which Ellie MacNiven converted.
More strong play and good handling saw winger Sophia Rosinki speeding her way to a second try, while solid defending kept the visitors at bay.
West made some changes in an effort to take the game to their hosts but some big hits from Ailsa MacLachan, along with strong pressure from Audrey Barr, kept them back.
A fantastic break by Rosinki resulted in try number three with MacNiven again adding the extras.
With Rachel MacDonald and Sarah Congdon working well to make some big hit and carries, Oban continued to dominate the game.
Captain Laura MacCormick was next on the scoresheet after a strong carry from MacNiven, who also made the conversion.
Just before the break, great footwork from Heather Fothergill and strong defence from the Oban forwards resulted in another scrum from which Skofca scored and converted to take the hosts into half-time with a 33:0 lead. Deteriorating weather made the second half more difficult for both sides with handling errors becoming the norm. But Oban maintained the pressure throughout and were rewarded with a sixth try from Rachael MacDonald following an almighty push from the Oban scrum.
Audrey Barr kept good pressure on the opposition scrum-half which helped the forwards get out from the scrum and keep the defence strong.
Rugby Development Officer Allan Wright said: ‘This is a great progression from last year which will hopefully offer the team great challenges.
‘A special mention to Veronica Speirs who played a great game which will be her last for a month as she joins fellow team mate Lucy Stewart coaching rugby in Africa.’
The team thanked all the supporters who braved the weather.