Garnock Continue Winning Run
Garnock Continue Winning Run (Reported by Tom Dickson)
Garnock recorded their fourth league victory when they defeated Greenock Wanderers at Lochshore last Saturday. Jordan Taggart returned to the squad after injury.
Garnock kicked-off in typical Valley late-September weather. And within a minute Greenock were penalised for offside about 30 metres out. With the wind swirling the difficult kick was missed.
The first lineout was awarded to Greenock but won by Garnock through Jonny Watson – a scenario which was to be repeated several times during the game.
Play was a bit ragged for the first 20 minutes with both sides unable to adequately control the ball in the gusty and greasy conditions. Greenock had slightly the better of this part of play. Both sides were guilty of straying offside and fall foul of referee Sinclair. However, with Garnock kicking for position at lineouts and Greenock running the ball an every occasion the score-board operator was redundant.
With 22 minutes on the clock Greenock were awarded a kickable penalty in front of the posts and Ant Devlin made no mistake to open the scoring at 0 – 3.
Play continued as before and it took another Devlin penalty from 30 metres in the 38th minute to bring the half to an end at 0 – 6.
During this spell Garnock had one failed attempt at a penalty goal but had started to gain more territory and seemed to be handling the wind better which augured well for the second half.
The second half started and the home squad forced their way well inside the Greenock half. They were rewarded in the 50th minute when, after kicking to touch, the Garnock pack won the lineout, drove then released the ball at the right time. The backs took charge and from Keir Walker to Chris Neill and to Jared Reekie, Ally Anderson was released to power over near the posts. Walker converted and Garnock moved 7 – 6 into the lead.
Both sides continued to give away penalties forcing the referee to issue some stern words that continued penalties would force him to take action.
This he did in the 61st minute when he yellow carded the Greenock stand off for a high tackle.
The extra-man advantage seemed to spur Garnock on and were unlucky not to score after a mesmerising run from Taggart was stopped near the try line.
Greenock lost a second forward who failed to roll away at a ruck in the 66th minute.
Garnock were now much the better side and emphasised this superiority with tries in the 74th, 79th and 80th minutes.
The first of these came from Reekie, effected in a similar manner to the try in the first half. The forwards won a lineout, fed the backs and Reekie spied the gap to race through to score well out. The conversion was missed and the score moved on to 12 – 6.
The 79th minute try was gained by the forwards after strong pressure within the Greenock 5 metre area was rewarded when Matt Shiells powered over to make the score 17 – 6.
In the last couple of minutes of the game Garnock were again pressing toward the Greenock line. From close to the Greenock 10 metre line they found a space on the blind side and Walker gathered and jinked his way to the score line and, in typical fashion, swallow-dived over for the Bonus Point try near the corner. With the conversion being missed, the referee brought a rather tousy game to an end with final score at Garnock 22 Greenock Wanderers 6.
This result keeps Garnock in third position in the league, 1 point behind the joint leaders.
Next Saturday Garnock have a break from league business with a Shield Regional Quarter Final against Annan at Lochshore. Kick-off is at 3 o’clock.
Garnock squad on the day was (1 – 19) ;- Wynn, O’Neill, Shiells, McGeachey, Watson, Wilson, DR Miller, Dominy, Walker, Neill, Woods, Taggart, Reekie, Brocket, Anderson, Chapman, Gibb, Johnston and Richmond.