1st XV - Report
WEST REGIONAL BOWL SEMI-FINAL
THERE was no consoling Paisley’s battered players after a heartbreaking semi-final defeat at Oban.
And while scrums were causing Paisley all manner of problems, the visitors certainly performed better against Oban’s giants than they did the last time the sides met in the league.
Saturday’s match started well for Grant Sweenie’s men as they were camped in the Oban half for all of the opening 15 minutes.
Euan Stuart was narrowly wide with two long-distance early penalty attempts and Paisley dominance caused the home side to have a re-think on their gameplan.
With both sides flying into rucks, the breakdown was a dangerous place, but Paisley more than matched their opposite numbers.
Line-outs are usually a Paisley strong point, and it was no different this time as the Buddies looked sharp on their own ball and stole a number of Oban’s throws.
But once Oban’s pack built up momentum in the scrum or in their deadly rolling mauls, Paisley were in trouble.
Two penalties late in the first half gave the home side a 6-0 advantage at the break, but Paisley did very well to avoid conceding a try right on the whistle after another devastating drive from the home side.
At half-time, Sweenie encouraged his side to believe that they could make it to the Murrayfield final and they went into the second half in determined fashion.
But a scrum close to the line saw Oban rumble over for the first try of the game.
And when they won a turnover from a Paisley scrum to score a second try, the task became too big for Paisley.
The visitors remained determined to the bitter end and finished strongest, but could not get the score their efforts deserved.
Prop Scott Sutherland said: “There were some tears after the game as a few of us probably won’t have too many more opportunities to reach a cup final.
“But we have to be proud of how we played.
“We were outweighed by a ridiculous margin in the scrums and it was no surprise that was how Oban scored both their tries.
“Everywhere else on the pitch though, we more than held our own.
“If we play like that in the league for the rest of the season, there is no reason we can’t climb higher than our current fifth spot.”
PAISLEY: Ben Van Eyssen, Mike Somerville, Calum McLeod, Mark Mckinnon, David Dodd, Kevin Browne, Stef Lach, Al Brodie, Grant Murney, Martin McKellar, Gordon Powrie, Simon Knott, colin mckay, Sean Brittain, Euan Stuart. SUBS: Murray Sutherland, Scott Sutherland, Andrew Gibson, Ryan McCready, Andrew Judge, Paul Di Duca.