Lochaber take it to the wire in season opener

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Lochaber RFC.

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Lochaber finally got their season under way with their first competitive rugby fixture since Covid struck when they hosted Glasgow University Medics on Saturday.

The last time the two sides met was in the bowl final of the 2019/2020 season with Lochaber claiming their first win over the Medics in horrendous weather conditions. Luckily the weather cleared for Saturday’s clash.

This was the Medics’ third game of the season after wins over Clydesdale 0-91 and Moffat 40-27. Their match sharpness from those first two games showed as they raced to a 0-19 lead after just 23 minutes in the first half.

Lochaber up until this point had displayed some promising attacks but the Medics defence had stayed strong. That changed after another scrum, an area where Lochaber were dominant throughout the game.

Number eight Edward Murray John broke down the blind side from the back of the scrum before the attack switched to the open side where Ryan Davies fed Conor Taylor who handed off two tacklers to score by the posts with Davies converting.

Lochaber got their second try just before the break when Davies fed Jonathan McCook 10m out. Cook’s momentum carried him towards the line where he twisted through a tackle to ground the ball. Davies converted to make it 14-19.

The Medics stretched their lead to eight points with a penalty 20 minutes into the second half.

Lochaber continued to pile the pressure on and, with a penalty advantage, Callum Boyd threw a wide pass out to full back Hamish White who drew the tackle and offloaded to Ally Weir on the wing. The Medics got a tackle in but Weir stretched out to score in the corner in his first game back at the club.

An injury to a Medics player meant McCook had to wait five minutes to take the conversion but he held his nerve to close the gap to 21-22 with just three minutes left.

Lochaber had a last minute chance to get up the pitch but gave away a penalty after winning a line out inside the Medics half. The Medics decided they’d had enough and put the ball out from the resulting penalty to end the game.

Lochaber now travel to Clydesdale on Saturday. This will be the first meeting between the clubs after Clydesdale’s relegation. Kick off is at 3pm at Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park, Stonehouse.