Rugby round-up, January 27

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Oban Lorne 55 Helensburgh 3                                                                  WEST REGION LEAGUE DIVISION 2

Jamie Bate scores the opening try for Oban Lorne. Photograph: Stephen Lawson.

Helensburgh made the short trip to Glencruitten for this Argyll and Bute derby match.

Oban came into the game off the back of two cancelled games owing to Covid and a disappointing loss away to league leaders Cumnock the previous weekend. Helensburgh had also had a string of defeats and cancelled games so both teams were keen to play some rugby.

Both teams named strong squads of 22 and the opening 10 minutes were a close-fought, cagey affair with Callum Hamilton opening the scoring with a penalty to Oban and Helensburgh quickly responding with three points.

The tone for the rest of the match was set when Oban’s hulking number 8 Jamie Bate barrelled over from a lineout maul to make it 10-3. Two short range tries followed from prop Connor Ferris, before Bate added another score after a powerful trademark run from half way.

Not to be outdone by his cousin, fullback flyer Craig Wright scored a quick fire hat-trick to bring the score to 48-3 before young centre Blair MacFarlane scored a fine solo try to finish the game with a flourish.

This weekend, Oban play away sixth-placed Paisley and will be hoping to build on their strong performance. Man of the match: Blair MacFarlane.

Bishopton Ladies 0 Oban Lorne Ladies 68                                                                    TENNENT’S WEST REGION LEAGUE

Selina Keppie was the opposition’s choice for the Man of the Match award. Photograph: Stephen Lawson.

Oban Ladies went into their last game of the league upbeat with captain K Sinclair back at the helm and vice captain S Kelpie alongside.

Playing in a well-structured fashion, the Oban girls received the ball well and retained possession of it for much of the match.

Some switched-on thinking between scrum-half R Macdonald and fly-half L Stewart saw many phases of play carried out successfully, allowing for Stewart to quickly nip across the line for the first try of the game in the fifth minute which she converted herself.

The girls kept possession from the receiving kick resulting in K Sinclair and G Mitchell tearing down the opposition’s line. Some perfectly co-ordinated passing allowed Mitchell to score the next try in her new position as outside-centre.

The Oban side kept up this pace allowing another two tries from winger L Telfer and back-row K Roche.

The Bishopton defence did not make it easy, however, and continuously put the pressure on, leading to several scrums with both sides being evenly matched.

Oban’s next try came from a turnover which led to debutant P McKillop using fancy footwork and her incredible pace to score her first try for Oban which was converted by R Macdonald.

The Oban ladies solidified their first half performance with another try from K Roche.

The same intensity was evident in the second half. Bishopton gained possession from the kick-off but the Oban forwards put in some serious tackles to counteract the attack and win back possession. V Speirs sent the ball out to the backs where G Mitchell was able to score her second try, converted by R MacDonald.

Tries followed from L. Stewart, 2; P McKillop; S Keppie and E Crompton, with one conversion from K Roche.

Opposition MOTM – S Keppie
Forwards MOTM – K Roche
Backs MOTM – S Keppie

Oban Lorne 63 Loch Lomond 24                                                                                       WEST YOUTH U16 CUP

Murray MacDonald scored three times for Oban Lorne Under 16s. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

Oban Lorne Under 16s kicked off their cup campaign on Sunday when they hosted Loch Lomond at Glencruitten.

The hosts started strongly with inside centre Murray MacDonald having a storming run up the middle of the pitch before being brought down, but the Oban side were round him quickly and the ball was quickly distributed to centre partner Thomas Jackson who finished under the posts for his first try of the day.

Loch Lomond worked their big pack into the game, gaining more and more territory, with Oban eventually conceding the score to bring it back all square.

Both teams were trading big hits and using their big runners to their advantage, trying to keep themselves in the game until Jackson intercepted a Lomond ball and ran through under the posts. Oban kept this pressure up and Murray MacDonald quickly added more points to the scoreboard in favour of the Oban side.

Still in the game, Loch Lomond pushed again with their forwards gaining ground to score another try and close the gap.

Oban were awarded a penalty just after the restart and kicked to the corner. Jumper and man of the match Reece Lawrie gave the back line a clean ball and the back line played it wide. Winger Rhys Coffield was held short to the line but captain Finlay Brown crossed the white wash for his first try of the game to end the first half.

Loch Lomond started brightly after the re-start and made their way down the pitch before centre MacDonald made a cover tackle on the run away player. A neck injury was the result and play was stopped. This gave Oban the kick they needed and they quickly made their way way back into the opposition half with second rower, come winger, Logan McKean making a storming run down his wing taking three Lomond players to stop him. The ball was quickly recycled and played wide with Jackson finishing off his hat trick.

The visitors found new life on their tired legs and started battering towards the Oban try line, getting themselves another score.

Deadlock ensued before a scrum five metres out for Oban resulted in number 8 Finlay Brown picking up from the back of the scrum to dive over and score his second.

Oban kept mounting the attacks playing the wide fast rugby that saw them do so well in the league and two more tries came from number 12, Murray MacDonald. Loch Lomond added another try to their tally before fly half Alexander MacDonald saw a space and crossed the line to add the ninth Oban try of the day.

All tries were converted by inside centre Murray MacDonald who had an excellent game.

Thanks go to referee Billy Thompson.

MOTM Reece Lawrie.

Oban Lorne U14s 18-32 Loch Lomond U14s

A young Oban team containing eight players eligible to play under 13s Rugby took on a big, physical Lomond team at Glencruitten.

Having already played and beaten Lomond in a tough encounter earlier in the season  Oban expected another rough match.

The hosts started well with strong tackling and surging runs from Scott Murdoch and Scott Mcphee, after good inter play from forwards and backs Joe Corns nice flat pass found the strong running Conan Burns who powered over for the first try, 3-0 Oban.

Oban continued to play well but mistakes led to two breakaway tries by the strong running Lomond 14 to make the score 3-7.

Oban continued to make good ground through direct running and offloading resulting in  a barnstorming trademark try from Hamish Macintyre, which he duly converted 7-7.

Despite dominating territory and possession poor decision making led to three successive Lomond tries, two of which from their own line with Oban looking sure to score themselves 7-18.

Once again Oban hit back with another try from Hamish Macintyre after good link up play with Joe Corns, Hamish again converted to take the score to 11-18.

Good pressure from the Oban forwards followed with driving runs from Stasiu Kupczak, Hamish Martin and Scott Mcphee took play to the Lomond try line but the ball was dropped over the line when it seemed a try was going to be scored.

From the resulting clearance Oban found themselves back on the Lomond try line once more after fine running and off loading between backs and forwards, with the backs lined up right with numerical advantage it seemed that a try would come, unfortunately Oban went for  the try line to the left and were met by a great Lomond defensive effort and the opportunity for a try was lost.

Lomond then used their powerful 14 to break clear and another length of the field try  was scored 11-22.

Once again Oban regrouped and continued playing their off loading game this time resulting in man of the match Ellis Campbell scoring a lovely try with an angled run to the corner the conversion by Hamish Macintyre taking the score to 15-22.

From the restart Oban managed to turn the ball over and raced up field to find themselves once again camped on the Lomond line but white line fever struck with players surging for the line only to be met by a tremendous defensive effort from Lomond.

After a number of tap penalties under the Lomond post the ball was moved swiftly  to the left and when a try seemd the likely outcome the ball was held up over the line with Oban being penalised for holding onto the ball.

From the resulting penalty Lomond worked their way upfield to score another converted try, 15-26.

Another breakaway try from Lomond took the score to 15-29.

Oban attacked again and scored an excellent team try with Ben Docherty powering over leaving three defenders in his wake, 18-29.

The Lomond 14 then set off on one of his powerful runs along the touchline and seemed certain to score but this time the tenacious Ruari Cottier hunted him down and tackled him on the tryline causing the big runner to knock on over the Oban try line.

From the resulting scrum with time running out Oban ran the ball from behind their own try line  but despite making good ground Lomond won the ruck and scored  the final try of the match taking the score to 18-32.

The coaches have noted lots of positives to take forward into training this week and would like to congratulate this young team on their efforts so far this season.