A Solid win for West Ladies
Tuesday, 4 February 2020
West of Scotland Ladies 31 Oban Lorne Ladies 15.
After last week’s disappointing defeat in their opening National Plate group match at Annan, West of Scotland Ladies picked up their first points with a 31-15 win over Oban Lorne Ladies at Burnbrae on Sunday.
With the match being played on the 4G pitch, underfoot conditions were perfect. The visitors dominated possession in the early stages but the West defence held firm. The forwards turned possession over allowing West to set up their own attack from inside their 22. In typical Belles style, the ball passed through many hands before centre Emily Irving made the vital break, putting the home side five points ahead after six minutes. The conversion was missed.
Despite trailing, Oban continued to have more of the ball and deservedly drew level with a try of their own after eleven minutes. This conversion, too, was missed. West stepped it up at this point, the forwards finally gaining a stranglehold on their opponents. It was no surprise when No 8 Alex Watson, after a typically powerful run, scored West’s second try of the afternoon in the twenty-second minute. Irving was successful on this occasion with the conversion. 12-5 to West.
With only a goal in it, it was still anyone’s game. Oban attacked again and looked certain to score under the West posts until a superb tackle by lock Ciera Campbell, outstanding throughout, halted the runner in her tracks. It was probably the turning point of the game. West gained possession, the ball found its way to open side flanker Fran Campbell and she ran in her side’s third try. The conversion was missed. Half-time and West led 17-5.
It didn’t take long for West to secure their try bonus point. Five minutes into the second half, more good work from the forwards saw prop Tash Burge power over. Kicking duties had been handed to Hannah Wright and she was successful with her first attempt. 24-5 to West. A few minutes later, No 8 Watson made the game safe with her second try of the afternoon. Wright again added the two points taking the lead to 31-5.
West had started the afternoon with a number of injured players on the sidelines. They were again forced into changes. Amanda Paterson, usually a blindside flanker, started the game at hooker. She was moved to the second row and finally to No 8 before she, too, was forced off on the hour mark.
A couple of quick unconverted tries from Oban caused a moment of concern in the home ranks. The ship was quickly steadied, though, and West saw the game out for an excellent bonus point win. Coach Lindsey Smith made a cameo appearance for the last ten minutes. The whistle for No Side saw a final score of 31-15 in favour of West.
The Belles have a fortnight’s break before they face their two remaining group games. The first is a trip to Poynder Park to face Kelso Ladies, the side they defeated in the promotion play-off. The final game in the group will see East Division Kirkcaldy Ladies visit Burnbrae.