Youth teams show their mettle in regional semis

Hamish Kennedy and Dylan Monk close in on Carrick's Reece Elgey. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

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Lochaber U18s 12-17 Carrick U18s

On Saturday Lochaber U18s hosted Carrick Rugby at Banavie in the West Region Plate semi-final hoping to turn the tables after a league defeat in Maybole in October.

Both teams started the game strongly with some excellent defence dominating the early play.

Following some creative attacking play, Lochaber’s Hugo Hoevelmann found himself in open space on the 10 metre line and the strong running No7 took advantage of a gap to run in and score the first try of the day on the 15th minute. An excellent conversion by Fergus MacIntyre gave the home side a well-deserved seven point lead.

Carrick came back strongly with repeated attempts to break through the strong Lochaber defence and a good pick up and drive saw them rewarded with an unconverted try on 18 minutes.

The game continued in the same vein with neither side giving any headway and strong defences coming out on top. A penalty awarded to Carrick in the 31st minute was kicked successfully to take the score at half time to Lochaber 7 Carrick 8.

The second half started at the same furious pace, with the strong Lochaber scrum beginning to dominate. Lochaber’s Dylan Monk appeared to score following one of many surges from the base of the scrum only for the try to be disallowed, the referee adjudging that Monk had lost control of the ball as he attempted to ground it.

Carrick fought their way back into the game and after 48 minutes scored under the posts giving them an easy conversion to take an eight point lead.

Lochaber came back into the game on the hour mark when Monk again charged towards the line and good support play and quick thinking by Fergus MacIntyre secured a well-deserved score. The conversion attempt was just wide, taking the score to Lochaber 12 Carrick 15.

The teamwork, effort and determination shown by Lochaber in the final 10 minutes was outstanding, exemplified by two barnstorming runs by Lochaber prop Josh Mackay, but the Carrick defence held firm to secure a narrow three point victory.

Head of Youth Rugby at Lochaber, Stevie McAleer, was full of praise for the dedication and commitment shown by the players and their coach Adrian Collins, throughout a hard fought league and cup campaign.

This was the first season of U18 rugby in Lochaber for 22 years and provided playing opportunities for boys from not only Lochaber area but also from Mull and Oban. Overall, a fantastic achievement.

NO_F12_LochaberRFC_U16TrophySemi-Final: Lochaber RFC Under 16s.

Strathaven U16s 58-12 Lochaber U16s

Lochaber U16s travelled to Strathaven on Sunday for their semi final in the
West Region Chairman’s Trophy.

A reasonably well-balanced Strathaven side notched up seven tries to Lochaber’s one in the first half, spurred on by their vocal home ground support.

Substitutes Callum McCaig and Gregor Henderson, both coming back from injuries, aided Lochaber’s cause in the second half, and limited the home side’s try count to four whilst assisting in a second try for their own team.

Match captain Anton Bodkin and number 8 Archie Campbell led the forwards by
example and at fullback, Josh Seymour kicked and tackled well.

All the Lochaber boys played to the best of their abilities and it was really pleasing to see some improvement from the younger and less experienced players.

Robert Gosling at scrumhalf made some tackles, flankers Ben Davies and Rory MacKinnon did some useful work in the loose and hooker Taylor Barr struggled through the game despite a niggling knee injury. Cody Mackay and Callan Griffin also got through the the first half despite their pre-existing knee injuries.


NO_F12_Rugby v Carrick 03: Hamish Kennedy and Dylan Monk close in on Carrick’s Reece Elgey. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

NO_F12_Rugby v Carrick 04: Ronnie Fulford prepares to run with the ball support by Liahm Yard (centre) Hamish Kennedy. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

NO_F12_Rugby v Carrick 02: Leo Green in the thick of the action as Carrick’s Nathan Harvey approaches. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

NO_F12_Rugby v Carrick 02: Caden Collins rushes Carrick’s Nathan Harvey approaches. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

NO_F12_LochaberRFC_U16TrophySemi-Final: Lochaber RFC Under 16s.