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First Outing of the Season for Garnock 2s

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Last Saturday Garnock 2s took to the field for the first time this season.

On more than one occasion this season the Playing Committee has looked at the possibility of getting a 2nd XV on the pitch.  With a few of our U18s now signed off to play Senior rugby the numbers were boosted and a 2s took to the pitch away at Paisley on Saturday.

The squad included three players making their Senior debuts and a further two starting a senior game for the first time. The team also included others for whom this was their first game of season and some who had played very little or were returning from injury.

The game started in bright but very cold conditions on a surface which one would describe as sticky. It was apparent early on the Paisley had a heavier but perhaps less mobile set of forwards than Garnock and a backline which included a number of strong running backs.

Both teams tried to play attacking rugby and Garnock were first to score. Some strong carrying and neat off loading by Joe Chapman and David Millar resulting in the ball in the hands of Iain Loach 15 yards from the Paisley line. The Garnock prop was able to beat the last defender and score between the posts. A successful conversion from Per Jacobson put Garnock 7-0 ahead.

At this stage the Paisley pack experienced a spell of dominance putting the Garnock eight under pressure through a number of phases just short of the Garnock line. Strong defence, with youngsters Fraser Ewington and Aaron Armstrong to the fore , kept Paisley at bay before Tony Woods was able to clear the ball to safety.

Unfortunately shortly thereafter Tony Woods took a head knock and following an HIA it was decided he should take no further part. This resulted in some reshuffling with hooker Richard O’Neill moving to scrum half.

Shortly before half time some concerted Paisley pressure resulted in Garnock eventually running out of defenders and a try being conceded. The conversion was successful and the half time score was 7-7

The second half started with Garnock playing into the slight breeze . The match continued in a similar manner to the first half with both teams trying to play handling rugby although there appeared to be little structure to the game from either side.  A strong break from Richard O’Neill saw him beat a number of defenders before being tackled 5 yards from the Paisley line. The ball was recycled allowing Per Jacobson to score his first senior try. The conversion was wide and Garnock were 12-7 ahead.

Unfortunately shortly after regaining the lead Garnock conceded a try near their posts to find themselves 14-12 down.

The strong running Paisley centres were proving to be a handful however the Garnock centres of Fraser and Ross Brocket continued to make their tackles to halt the Paisley progress. On the regular occasions when Paisley opted to kick the ball this was returned , often with interest, through the running of Garnock’s back three of Andrew Mitchell, Ian Halbert and David Hearty/Evan Sandford.

For the latter stages of the game Garnock struggled to gain much possession with Paisley on top. The forwards continued to work hard with Ross Johnston and Alistair McLean making a number of tackles. Garnock lost their second player to injury when skipper and No8 Davy Hutton had to leave the field thereby reducing Garnock’s lineout options. Davy was replaced in the pack by Ross Wilson who carried and tackled strongly .

Paisley scored again before the full time whistle leaving the final score 21-12 ( it might have been 28-12 )  This was an encouraging first outing for Garnock’s 2s. With more U18s still to be signed off and a significant number of senior players to come into the reckoning there are good signs that the club will be able to field a 2nd XV on a regular basis next season.

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