Stewartry Sirens’ early Sunday morning start proved worthwhile as they defeated Oban Lorne in their penultimate league game of the season.
Bidding to maintain their unbeaten run, the Sirens took the game to the home team from the off. With less than 10 minutes played, the ball was worked out to Phaedra Snailham who evaded a couple of Oban defenders to score the opening try.
With the Sirens forwards dominating scrums and disrupting the Oban line-out, the home team were struggling to get out of their own half.
With a quarter of the game gone, the Sirens opened up the Oban defence again, with Lisa Ritchie going over for her first try.
With the Oban forwards struggling to hold the Sirens in the scrum, they were soon forced into replacing front row players, which meant scrums went uncontested.
With the Sirens still looking to increase their lead, it was Lauren Nicholson who stormed over the line for the third try after some great work between the forwards and backs.
The Sirens back row of Jenny Yates, Fiona Shedden and Tamsin Tyeson were making strong runs and dominating the breakdown.
With the first half coming to an end, the Sirens won a line-out on the Oban 10m line and Jenny Yates collected the ball only to be stopped 5m from the try line.
Some great support play saw Sammy Durnan score the Sirens fourth try of the half for a 20-0 half-time lead.
With the Oban team re-invigorated by the half-time break replacements and a scrum that allowed the supply of free ball, it was Oban’s turn to apply pressure.
As they did in the first half, Oban ran the ball at every opportunity. Some poor discipline in the Sirens’ defence gave Oban the opportunity to gain ground and, with ball in hand, Oban made in-roads and it was a determined attack that eventually saw the home team cross the line for their first try.
This gave them confidence but the Sirens’ defence held firm with some great tackling from Lisa Ritchie, Claire Manson and Chloe Johnstone.
These were countered by strong runs from Clare Dooley, Dawn Currie and Adele Baird who all looked to break through the revamped Oban defence.
Substitute Deborah Swan bolstered the Sirens’ forward power and got involved at every opportunity.
Entering the last quarter, it was time for Lisa Ritchie to take the game away from the home team, first through a kick chase strategy with speedsters Donna Burns, Louisa Ramage and Hannah Stewart hunting the kick and forcing Oban to play from deep in their own half.
On the first kick, the chasers’ pressure forced an Oban mistake giving the Sirens a scrum inside Oban’s 22. From the scrum Lisa Ritchie crossed the line for her second try and added the conversion.
With the Sirens in an attacking position and looking to build pressure at a ruck, the referee yellow carded Jenny Yates whilst one of the Oban players clearly lay on the ball.
Going down to 14 didn’t deter the Sirens as Lisa Ritchie chased her own kick as the ball bounced into her hands on the way to the try line. The try was converted.
Despite the scoreline, this was a good contest between two teams determined to play rugby. A bit more guile from the home team and the score could have been closer.
Thanks to Abbey and Leah who travelled to assist the team.
The Sirens host Broughton at Greenlaw on Sunday looking to reverse the score from earlier in the season. Kick-off 2pm.