Lessons learned from opening Plate clash

Beth Menzies barges her way through the West of Scotland defence. Photographs: Stephen Lawson.

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It was a baptism of fire at Burnbrae for Oban Lorne Ladies in this year’s National Plate competition as West of Scotland came out of the blocks flying.

Playing the first of four pool games, the Green Army got off to a rusty start giving the Burnbrae Belles the chance to dominate possession and shine on their home turf.

Full-back Rachel MacDonald was the only Oban player who managed to cross the whitewash in the opening half,  with the hosts scoring three converted tries to take a 21-5 lead at the break.

Improvements had to be made if the Oban ladies wanted to make any impression after the re-start and that’s exactly what they did, winning the second half try count 2-1.

Rachel MacDonald makes a charge forward.
Kirsty Sinclair dives over for a try for Oban Lorne.

Centre Kirsty Sinclair, who stepped up as captain in place of the injured Laura MacCormick, scored as well as fresh-legged Kelsey Whitlow who outpaced the West winger to score another in quick succession.

The Oban defence was becoming more solid, with the opposition having to string together more and more phases to get through. With the score 31-15, and the ladies in green starting to play better, a lower back injury to Oban scrum-half Heather Fothergill forced the game to be cut short.
Heather was taken to hospital in Glasgow where an X-ray later revealed there was no serious damage.

The ladies now feel they know what they have to work on in training to improve.

Their next game is on Sunday February 16 when they face group leaders Kelso at Glencruitten.

Oban Lorne 1st XI’s West League Division Two fixture against Dalziel was cancelled on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch.

This weekend, the clubs have a break due to the Six Nations Calcutta Cup clash on Saturday.

On Saturday February 16, Wigtonshire are the visitors to Glencruitten.