League action returned to glencruitten for the first time this season with Oban being visited by bitter rivals Wigtownshire. The long 4 hour drive from Stranraer would’ve been plenty time for the ‘shire men to think about their game, but a quickfire start by an energised Oban team left them thinking ahead to a long afternoon.
Bolstered by a couple of new and returning players, Oban’s new game plan took all of 10 minutes to reap rewards. High intensity play and carries from the forwards brought huge gain line advantage, with hard running from the centres causing havoc amongst the ‘shire team. Fin Carmichael was in the mood for a game and put the team 3-0 up after 3 minutes, and quickly orchestrated a lovely break down the right for the new look backline of Steven Campbell and Blair MacFarlane to dance into space. A quick tap by captain Vasil Borisov almost put countrymen Rado Maksimov over, before a pick and go by the scrumhalf brought Obans opening try on 10 minutes. Carmichael added the extras from out wide. Sustained pressure from kickoff and a handful of penalties gave ‘shire a look in and they gratefully took the 3 points offered. However, this was the only points they’d sniff in the first half, as Eric Roberts scored in full flight followed quickly by another from Prop Connor Taylor – channeling his inner Cheslin Kolbe – danced over from 30 meters. Carmichael added the conversions giving a halftime score of 29-3.
Oban struggled to get into the game at the start of the second half, with a pressure team like ‘shire exerting their big men and two well taken tries followed. Eventually, Oban woke up and got into their groove again. Oban were camped in the ‘shire 22 for an extended period following breaks from Bruce Wilmer and Jamie Bate, and lovely interplay between Callum Hamilton and George Ritchie looked to open a gap for James Divers who was brought down just short. A quick recycle and hard running by Hamilton and MacFarlane led to a try for the latter, picking up his form from last season and dancing over for his first of the campaign.
A disallowed try for Rado Maksimov kept the pressure on and a confident Fin Carmichael saw a gap and danced through 3 defenders before running home untouched to add another try. Full time score Oban 42-13 Wigtownshire.
Oban Distillaries Man of the Match: Eric Roberts
Oban Lorne RFC would like to thank all match day and ball sponsors for their generosity and support for this season.