1st XV - Report
|Loch Lomond||21||vs||22||Oban Lorne|
Oban Lorne win the RBS West Regional Bowl 2013
Murrayfield is in sight as Oban Lorne lifted the West Regional Bowl last Saturday overcoming Loch Lomond 22-21 at Bonhill.
Oban travelled with a strong squad but knew they would be in for a though game after a narrow win over the same opposition at Glencruitten earlier in the season. Fergus Matheson returned to the team replacing the absent Dougie Pender while father and son duo Robert and Craig Wright returned in the backline.
The home side made a better start to the game dominating territory and possession while being backed by a big home crowd. Lomond didn’t take advantage of this early pressure and failed to get onto the scoreboard. Oban led 3-0 after 10 minutes with a well taken penalty from Craig Wright. Oban were awarded the shot at goal with their first foray into the Lomond half much to the pleasure of the travelling support.
Lomond levelled the scores shortly after with a penalty of their own. Both teams were struggling to get any rhythm in attack in the opening 30 minutes with no try scoring chances worth noting. Oban however bucked this trend and scored the first try of the match 5 minutes before halftime. The men in Green seized possession on the Lomond line after some impressive play from a lineout on the 22. Tommy Sutherland bulldozed over under the posts from 2 metres out to score. Wright again was successful with the boot the give a 10-3 lead. Lomond responded before halftime with a penalty to give a 10-6 advantage to Oban Lorne at the break.
Oban grew confident in the second half and seemed to get the nerves of playing in a final out of them. Aided with an impressive scrum and lineout the Green Machine found themselves with more of the ball and more pressure in the Lomond half.
The away side were rewarded with a try from captain Robin Macqueen after some good play from the Oban pack. The conversion was narrowly missed and Oban led 15-6.
Oban were now looking comfortable and added to the scoreline with the best try scored by the Green machine all season. A fast flowing move in the backline involving Craig & Allan Wright, Struan & Cameron Smith and Connor Ferris was eventually finished off over the line by Oban stand off Graham MacEachan. The added conversion meant that Oban led 22-6 and looked out of sight with 20 minutes or so to go. This is where the game got interesting.
Loch Lomond suddenly upped their game knowing they had nothing to lose to show a superb comeback with three unconverted tries. Oban Lorne who had been more than comfortable only moments before were becoming a shambles in defence and were completely on the back foot. Luck was on Oban’s side as they had the posts to thank for a Lomond conversion striking off the upright to deny the hosts the lead.
Oban battled hard in the dying minutes as the home side looked certain to score on several occasions. Try saving tackles from Struan Smith, Allan Wright and Cammy Smith denied the hosts a match winning score while the game remained in the balance right up until the final whistle.
As the referees watch went past the 80 minute mark the drama continued as Oban had a kick charged down resulting in a Lomond break away. Thankfully for Oban the ball was knocked into touch and the final whistle was blown! Oban Lorne were West Bowl Champions.
A relieved Oban team were presented with the West Bowl by former SRU president Jim Stevenson after consoling the disappointed Lomond team who fought hard to come back from the death. The win means that Oban Lorne move into the National Semi Finals and will face Grangemouth, Kinloss, or Broughton. A win in the next game will see the team reach finals day at Murrayfield.