Oban Lorne Under 16s are just champion

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Oban Lorne RFC Under 16s have battled their way through a season of disruption to be named joint winners of the West Region Development League.

Having played and been beaten in their last game of the season at East Kilbride on December 5 the table topping Glencruitten youngsters had a nervy wait as the outcome of the league was taken out of their hands.

Sitting only a point behind in second place East Kilbride faced Loch Lomond the following week. Despite losing the game EK managed to pick up a bonus point meaning league honours would be shared.

Coaches Lewis MacFarlane and Kyle Graham were none-the-less delighted with the result and couldn’t praise their team enough for their efforts.

Speaking to the Oban Times last week Lewis said: ‘It was a hard season not just for Oban but probably for every club in the league coming off a year with no competitive rugby being played.

‘But the boys showed up in all weather every Tuesday and Thursday eager to learn and improve.

‘They’ve all played out their skin in every game and the results show how hard they’ve trained.

‘For the younger boys in the team this is a massive jump up as the last rugby they would’ve had was in first year and they’ve taken to it like a duck to water. We couldn’t be any prouder of them.

‘All of this couldn’t be done without the help from parents helping with post match food and driving to away games so a big thank you to them and lastly a big thanks to all those who have pulled on that Oban Lorne U16 strip and worked so hard to get the results that they wanted.’

The boys kicked off their season on September 5 when they ran out 43-7 winners against Loch Lomond.

Oban were forced to reschedule their next game away to East Kilbride due to Covid and the season was further disrupted for the Under 16s with Allan Glens not able to field a team to travel up the following week.

Two weeks and no games but the boys knuckled down in training as their next game was up against high flying league leaders Dalziel who had not conceded any points so far.

A strong Oban team travelled to Motherwell where the visitors used their backs to move the big Dalziel team around the pitch to win their second game of the season 54-19.

A comfortable 50-0 victory against a very young Strathaven side the following week saw the Oban team in a good position going into the October break.

Oban were hit with Covid after the holiday and lost some strong experienced players. They travelled to Loch Lomond with a makeshift back line and lost 65-12 to a much improved side.

More positive tests came through suspending training for two weeks and more rescheduling of games.

On November 14 the team travelled to Allan Glens and came away with a 60-22 win to see them into second place in the league with Dalziel occupying top spot.

And it was Dalziel who travelled to Glencruitten the following week. This was by far the best the Under 16s had played so far and following a tightly contested game the home side ran out 31-24 winners to reach the summit of the league.

More disruption followed but the Oban side managed to hold onto their lofty position and take a well deserved share of the spoils.

Oban Lorne RFC president Darrell Williams said: ‘Everyone at Oban Lorne is exceptionally proud of the U16 boys for this achievement.

‘Thanks to our two young coaches Lewis and Kyle for all the hard work and dedication they’ve shown.’

The Under 16s now turn their focus on the cup competition in the new year.

Photograph (NO_T41_ObanLorneRFC_Under16s_SL): Oban Lorne RFC Under 16s. Photograph by Stephen Lawson.