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Garnock Come Alive

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Garnock Come Alive

Reported by Tom Dickson.

Having had no competitive rugby since mid-November, Garnock took the first half to run off any sign of rustiness before revealing how good they can be when they are on song.

Last Saturday’s game against Stewartry of Castle Douglas was played in cold but sunny conditions. The squad was along the usual with Ian Halbert making his long-awaited season’s appearance.

Garnock kicked-off and immediately camped well inside the Stewartry 22 metre area. The constant pressure brought about a mistake from the home forwards with referee Thompson awarding a penalty for offside. With only 4 minutes played Keir Walker elected to go for the three points. As he was about to start his run up the wind blew the ball off the tee. The young scrum half reacted by picking up the ball to score a drop goal to put Garnock ahead at 3 – 0.

Play ebbed and flowed for the next 20 minutes with neither side looking like scoring. Penalties were being awarded but none close enough to change the score. Highlights for Garnock during this period included the defensive quality of the tackling of the entire squad, the power of the pack in the set pieces and the willingness of the backs to keep the game open.

With half time approaching, Garnock started to get the upper hand. They elected to kick a penalty award to touch on the Stewartry 22 line. From yet another penalty conceded by the home forwards, Walker converted from mid-field and only 20 metres from the posts. Half time came with Garnock 6 points in the lead and beginning to look the better side.

Stewartry restarted and were on the scoreboard within a minute when Mosey converted from 30 metres in the 41st minute.

This was the spur that Garnock needed. Four minutes later Matt Shiells rounded off a Garnock drive when he charged over near the touchline to put Garnock ahead at 11 – 6.

Two minutes later and with Garnock well inside the Stewartry half, Walker spied a gap to dart over for Garnock’s second try which he converted into a seven pointer. 48 minutes played and Garnock ahead at 18 – 3.

Play settled down for a bit with Stewartry showing that they were still very much in the game. However, the Garnock tackling was always capable of coping with anything the home side could muster.

In the 54th minute Halbert sped in to score after a fine break from distance by centre Jordan Taggart. Walker converted to extend Garnock’s lead to 25 – 3.

At this stage Garnock were looking for the fourth and Bonus Point try but Stewartry were determined the thwart them and to add to their own score.

Garnock were reduced to 14 when their right winger was yellow carded for a technical infringement in the 66th minute. This only slightly hampered the quest for the fourth try.

It came along in the 78th minute after what was possibly the best handling movement of the game when Fraser Brocket scored after the ball had been fed through several pairs of hands. Nearly time up and Garnock winning 30 – 3.

Stewartry had the last score of the game when they took a quick tap penalty and released their No. 8 Hogg who scored under the posts. Mosey converted to make the final result Stewartry 10 Garnock 30 with a Bonus Point.

The Garnock squad was (1-19): Matt Shiells, Richard O’Neill, Luke Wynn, Lewis McGeachy, Jonny Watson, Stuart Wilson, David R Miller, Rory Dominy, Keir Walker, Gareth McCrorie, Fraser Brocket, Jared Reekie, Jordan Taggart, Ian Halbert, Tony Woods, Ross Johnston, David Miller, Alan Brocket , Mathew Richmond.

Next Saturday Garnock travel to Fort Matilda to tackle Greenock Wanderers with a 2 0’clock kick-off.

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