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Having had no competitive fixtures since the end of November, Oban Lorne Ladies have had time to regroup and recover following what was for them a disappointing league season.
And, with almost a full squad of players now champing at the bit for some action, the 2020 National Plate competition couldn’t have come at a better time.
This year the tournament is being played in a round robin format with 10 teams being split over two pools. Oban Lorne face away trips to West of Scotland (this Sunday) and Kirkcaldy (Sunday, February 23) and will play Kelso (Sunday, February 16) and Annan (Sunday March 1) at their Glencruitten ground.
The winners of each Pool will go head to head on Finals Day which will be played at Murrayfield in the Spring.
Influential captain Laura (America) MacCormick suffered a knee injury at the start of the season but has started light training with the squad in the hope of being able to join in the plate competition in the later stages.
‘I feel great at the moment and I haven’t had any problems with the knee but I’m trying to rein it in a bit just now to let it mend properly. Hopefully I will get back on within the next couple of months.’
Captain America has already experienced Murrayfield success when she led the team to victory in the Bowl competition in 2018 and is keen for the newer members of the team to have that same chance.
‘There is nothing like it,’ she added. ‘It was an amazing experience that none of us will forget. We will be going all out to make the final again and certainly have the capability if we put the hard work in.’
The tournament kicked-off last weekend, with Oban having their bye week. This weekend’s opponants West of Scotland were beaten 33-15 by Annan while Kelso ladies ran in a 22-5 victory over Kirkcaldy.
After a league season blighted by player shortage and injuries a rebuilding exercise has produced a positive outcome with a strong squad ready to take on the plate challenge.
Serial scorer Lucy Stewart is back from an injury due to surgery, as is Beth Menzies after damaging ligaments.
Several of the new girls will also be bringing something to the party. Gill Rimmer, with her ability to draw in defenders and hit hard lines, Caitlin Hilder has speed and enthusiasm, while Caitlin Fowler has good knowledge and strength.
Rowan Sinclair from Queen Margaret University has also committed to playing with the Green Army this season after playing alongside one of Oban’s finest Selina Keppie last season at the University.
Head coach Corrie Louw plays a huge part in the development and progression of Oban Lorne ladies and he commented: ‘We have a good developing squad of players now who have been training hard together.
‘There is no reason why we can’t go all the way in this competition, it’s all down to them now.’
Oban Lorne Ladies are always looking to sign up new team members who want to be part of their vibrant and friendly squad. No experience necessary. For more deatails contact them through their Facebook page.