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Garnock Rack Up Half Century

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Garnock Win Comprehensively  Reported by Tom Dickson

Garnock hosted Oban Lorne in their latest bid to escape the relegation zone of West division 1. The visitors had inflicted a 17 – 26 on Garnock in their last meeting but the home side were looking to reverse that result. This they did, in probably their best display of the season.

Oban kicked off, in glorious weather at Lochshore, towards the whisky bond and with only 20 seconds on the watch were awarded a penalty for a Garnock infringement. Findlay Carmichael made no mistake with his kick to make the score 0 – 3 for Oban.

Undaunted, Garnock forced their way well into the Oban half and after a telling run by Jordan Taggart, the ball was fed to Rory Walker about 30 metres out from the try line. The stand off broke forward and shrugged off several would-be tacklers to score well out. With the conversion missed Garnock moved ahead at 5 – 3 after 3 minutes play.

Play swung about near the centre line with neither side dominating until the home forwards set up a powerful drive. They carried the ball inside the Oban half and fed their backs. The ball was shipped through the line to release Ian Halbert. The winger sped in from 40 metres to score near the touchline. The conversion was missed but Garnock were in front at 10 – 3 after 11 minutes.

In the 16th and 19th minutes the brothers Walker scored tries with Rory converting both. Firstly Rory scored at the posts with a dazzling individual try after another good handling movement from the backs. Then Keir charged down an Oban attempted clearance kick, followed up and scored halfway out to make it 24 – 3 to Garnock and the Try Bonus point secured.

Garnock added to their first half tally when Matt Shiells powered over from a Garnock lineout 5 metres from the Oban try line to score. The conversion was missed and Garnock reached half time at 29 – 3 in the lead.

The second half started as the first with both sides trying to run the ball at every occasion and with both defences standing firm. In the 51st minute Jared Reekie was on hand to score after the forwards had won possession near the centre of the field of play. The ball was quickly passed between Taggart, Halbert and Alan Miller to allow Reekie’s speed to out-pace the cover defence. Walker converted and Garnock moved to 36 – 3.

Eight minutes later Garnock scored again. The forwards won a lineout ball on their own 10 metre line. They drove several yards before releasing to the backs. The ball was fed through six pairs of hands to winger Halbert who ran in for his second of the afternoon. Walker converted to make it 43 – 3 after59 minutes.

On the hour mark, Garnock won a scrum on the Oban 10 metre line. Shiells broke off the tail and ran fully 30 metres straight through the middle of the Oban defence, shrugging off tacklers to score a fine individualistic try at the posts. Again Walker converted and the score moved on to 50 – 3 after 61 minutes.

The high standard of the Garnock play seemed to dip and they held out the Oban attacks until the final play of the game when Oban scored a very good try which Carmichael converted to make the final score 50 – 10 in Garnock’s favour.

With this victory easing Garnock’s relegation worries, they go into next week’s final match against Lenzie knowing that another performance like this would ensure their Division 1 status and a mid-table finish.

The Garnock squad was (1- 19): Paul, O’Neill, Fraser Miller, Alan Miller, Watson, Reid, David R Miller, Shiells, Keir Walker, Rory Walker, Halbert, Taggart, Reekie, Anderson, Neill, Ruxton, David Miller, Wynn and Woods.

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