Rugby round-up week 03 2022

Cody MacKay makes a strong push against an Oban tackle during the Under 16s friendly at Banavie. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos

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Lochaber S3/S4s played Oban Lorne at Banavie on Sunday January 16 in a friendly prior to the upcoming U16 West Region Youth Cup games.

Oban Lorne were one of the strongest teams in the West Region league before Christmas, while the Lochaber boys have had  limited game time.

Oban Lorne were always likely to win and so it turned out on the day as they scored umpteen tries to Lochaber’s one. A partisan Lochaber supporter would have had very few passages of play to cheer about during the game, but there’s a lot to be satisfied with:

The club has worked hard over a number of years to be able to field 15 players plus substitutes at this age grade.

As the game wore on, there was a significant improvement in the team’s performance, indicating the boys were getting to grips with competitive, full contact rugby.

It is club policy to give everyone in the squad game time, where possible. Early on in the second half, when it was time to send on a substitute, no-one wanted to come off.

Virtually all of the boys ended the match with some running left in them, indicating reasonable fitness and stamina levels.

Both teams enjoyed a great meal afterwards, courtesy of a group of dedicated Lochaber parents.

It was unfortunate Zach Alexander and match captain Stuie MacLennan, both rock solid in defence, had to come off with injuries.

Also in the backs, Callan Griffin and Taylor Barr had to cope with unfamiliar positions but played really well.

Front rower Anton Bodkin was Lochaber’s outstanding player. Not far behind him were second rowers J-J Blackley and Archie Campbell.

Looking ahead to the U16 West Region Youth Cup, the club’s reasonable ambition for them is that they remain free of significant injuries and that they fulfil all three first round games. While the boys still have a lot of work to do, they’re definitely going in the right direction.

Philip Thurlow.

Hamilton Ladies 5 – 57 Oban Lorne Ladies

The Oban ladies ventured into this game with a mix of ‘old’ and allegedly retired faces and new faces keen to get stuck into their first rugby game, with S Keppie and V Speirs leading the charge as captain and vice captain for the day.

Throughout the first half Oban shut down Hamilton’s forward momentum before they could plan an attack. The Oban ladies were relentless in their tackles which lead to forwards C Fowler, L MacCormick and K Roche charging into Hamilton’s strong defensive line. This let A R Love and L Stewart to lead the backs and ship the ball out wide to centre M Letizia so she could draw the Hamilton ladies and pop the ball off to L Telfer who sped down the line and scored the first try of the game in the first two minutes. This was L Telfer’s first ever try and it was converted by L Stewart.

The Oban ladies kept this intensity up for the entire first half with K Roche, L MacCormick, L Stewart and R Sinclair scoring another four tries which were all successfully converted by L Stewart.

In the second half Hamilton did not allow for much ground to be made leading to a couple of knock-ons as Hamilton turned up the pressure on the Oban side.

Oban fought back though with R Egan scoring another try. However, with another kick from Hamilton the pressure was back on the Oban ladies, resulting in a knock on which Hamilton took full advantage of, squeezing in a try on Oban’s blind side.

The Oban side didn’t let this deter them though and scored another two tries through winger-turned-flanker C Hilder and G Thompson.

Hamilton kept up their intensity up until the final minute when forward momentum led by V Speirs, E Mitchell and N Taylor resulted in a try by R Sinclair, converted by L Stewart.

Opposition chosen Man of the Match: G Thompson; forward Man of the Match: C Hilder and back Man of the Match: R Egan.

The successful Oban Lorne ladies team.
Men’s report

After more than three weeks with no rugby played, Oban travelled to league leaders Cumnock.

Oban knew this was going to be a very hard game. During the first 10 minutes, Oban put pressure on Cumnock in their 25. Unfortunately, Oban lost the ball and Cumnock run the full length of the park to score the first try. There was some good individual hard runs from Oban, but the tries kept coming for Cumnock.

The only Oban try came from Jamie Bate. A lot of work is to be done at training this week as Oban host Helensburgh at Glen this Saturday, January 22, kick-off 2pm.

Final score Cumnock 40 Oban 5.

Oban Under 14s 3 Greenock Wanderers 71

On their first outing since November, the Under 14s came up against a very fast and physical Greenock team on a day perfect for running rugby.

Greenock tries came regularly but despite having key players missing Oban kept going until the end with man of the match Ruari Cottier leading the tackle count and Milo Llewelyn scoring a great try.

Greenock were well organised and clearly benefit from having five coaches for this age group.

It’s back to the league this Sunday when the team takes on Loch Lomond at Glencruitten.

Under 13s match report

This was Oban’s first outing at Under 13 level this year with some players getting their first outing in a full competitive game against Greenock’s well-drilled team.

Oban started strongly and were quickly rewarded with an early try by Ben Docherty.
Relentless pressure, strong tackling and attacking runs saw Oban run in four more tries in the first 15 minutes by Dougie Brown, Fin Mackechnie, Josh Olds and Aidan Lawrie.

The start of the second spell saw Greenock pile on early pressure resulting in an unconverted try.

From the restart, Oban ramped up the pressure with great surging runs from Ben Docherty at centre, Josh Olds at number eight and William Maclellan at second row. Great runs by Fin Mackechnie, Charlie Cameron and Lewis Cairns resulted in three more tries by Finlay Cottier, Josh Olds and Fin Mackechnie.

The third spell resulted in four more tries by Fin Mackechnie, Dougie Brown, Josh Olds and Jake Jevons resulting in a final score of 43-3 to Oban. Ten out of the 12 tries were converted by man of the match Fin Mackechnie.

Oban displayed some fantastic rugby with great play by regulars and the newer players.

Darrell Williams.