OBAN LORNE 10
PAISLEY RFC’s revival in the Scottish Hydro Electric West Region Division One continued with a much improved performance against a team who easily won the last encounter between the sides.
But despite getting off to a flyer in this match at Anchor Mill, the Buddies were left rueing missed opportunities and a moment of madness that resulted in them being a man down at a vital point in the match.
Minutes after kick-off Paisley were straight into their stride and playing some wonderful rugby.
The forwards stuck to the game plan and shipped the ball quickly out to the backs who were running rings around the opposition.
It looked only a matter of time before a score came and, after five minutes, a superb passing move saw centre Ryan McCready break through two tackles and play a lovely pass to flyhalf Gordon Powrie.
Powrie brushed off the attentions of the last defender to touch down in the corner and give the home side a 5-0 lead.
Gavin Newlands was unable to nail the conversion from a difficult angle.
Sub Mark Conroy came off the bench after 10 minutes and so nearly made an instant impact when McCready, again after some fantastic running, popped a pass into the winger’s path.
But Conroy was desperately disappointed to fumble with nothing but open space between him and the try line.
Newlands should have extended the lead with a penalty in front of the posts but he screwed it just wide.
A five-minute spell of Oban pressure saw Paisley defending bravely on their own line before a penalty for not releasing the ball on the ground gave them a breather.
Half time came with the home side in control and looking like earning their second victory in a row.
However, Oban came out of the blocks at the restart and were 7-5 up within seconds.
A line-out on the Paisley 10-metre line resulted in the big Oban forwards crashing their way up the park to eventually touch down under the posts.
The easy conversion gave them a two-point lead.
With the home side rattled, Oban dominated much of the next 20 minutes and they had a try disallowed when the referee judged that the ball was held up by home defence.
But with 15 minutes to go, Paisley were once again bossing the game and went in search of a winning score.
Their chances took a serious blow when prop Paul Reid, a player with the ability to be a match winner on his day, talked himself into the sin bin.
The referee wanted to talk to Reid after a minor punch up but was left with no option but to brandish a yellow card as Reid continued to run his mouth.
That left Paisley with a monumental task and the closest they came to scoring was after a brilliant interception on the halfway line by Powrie who gained almost 50 yards with a well-placed kick.
The killer blow came with the last kick of the ball when Paisley were penalised in front of their own posts after some last-ditch defending.
The penalty sailed through the posts to give the relieved visitors the win.
Paisley coach Mark Gillespie said: “It says a lot for the progress the team has made that the players were all completely gutted after the game.
“The way we are playing now is like night and day compared to the performances before Christmas.
“Next up we play the Police on Saturday and that’s a game we have to be looking to win at home.”
Kick-off at Anchor Mill is 3pm.