At Random with Martin Laing – July 15

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Champions effort

There was a certain football match last week which caught my attention.
No, not England’s Euros 2020 campaign (though I’d venture I was one of the few Scots chuffed with their success in the semi-finals). Oban Saints opened their preparations for the new season with an impressive 4-0 victory over Lochgilphead Red Star.

The boys then followed that up with a gritty performance in their play-off match on Saturday against Castlemilk Dynamo, which eventually they lost on a penalty shoot-out after drawing 1-1.

The club secretary, my old chum Davie Buchanan, was pretty pleased with the effort but told me Saints could have won and had played well. When I spoke to him, Davie was summoning up the blood to face the lengthy trek back to Oban from the game in Motherwell, which he anticipated would involve several stops for refreshments en route.

The point of this ramble is simply to tip my tile to the good folk such as Davie who go above and beyond to ensure our local sports teams continue to be able to compete across the country as well as at home. They provide a wonderful platform for our young people to entertain us and keep themselves fit.

The new season now beckons for Saints and I wish them every success.

Heroes all

Regular readers will know the exceptional regard I hold for the RNLI and the work of its volunteers, both ashore and at sea.

That was reinforced last week by the story of Phil Hamerton and Alison Rennie and the role they played in the rescue of two lost walkers on the Isle of Jura.

The Oban pair showed great selflessness in going to the aid of Stephen and Ronnie Bert, who had become lost and disoriented while climbing the three Paps of Jura.
It is, however, simply what we have come to expect from the lifeboat heroes, almost all of whom are unpaid. If there is a better charitable cause in the Oban area, I suspect I haven’t come across it.

Hats off to you guys yet again.

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