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Garnock Draw with Irvine

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Drawn Together Again (as reported by Tom Dickson)

Last Saturday Garnock and Irvine Rugby Clubs met at Lochshore in a West Division 1 fixture. Their last meeting at Lochshore ended in a 19-19 draw. The sides were at almost full strength for this encounter and an exciting match was envisaged.

Garnock kicked off towards the “Kilbirnie” end and were penalised for a high tackle which allowed Irvine to clear to the Garnock 10 metre line. The lineout was won by Garnock, fed to Rory Walker who cleared towards the visitor’s 22 line.

With 4 minutes on the watch Jordan Taggart broke loose but was unlucky to be halted after avoiding several attempted tackles. At this stage Garnock were looking the better side.

Garnock were awarded a scrum and on winning the put in. fed the ball to Rory Walker. His deft chip allowed the forwards to set up a driving maul where Stuart Wilson powered over for the first score of the game. Keir Walker converted and after 7 minutes Garnock were ahead at 7 – 0.

Play settled down on the restart with neither side gaining the upper-hand. Both sides were guilty of giving away penalties resulting in a disjointed passage of play.

This changed when, in the 19th minute, Garnock won a scrum 20 metres out. Wilson drove forwards to the try line, released to Luke Wynn. Luke brushed off the cover to score near the touchline. The difficult kick was narrowly missed and with 21 minutes played and Garnock 12 – 0 in front.

Their third try came 5 minutes later when Jared Reekie was given a chance to run at the opposition after his back colleagues fed him 30 metres out. The centre scored at the posts. Walker converted to put Garnock up 19 – 0.

With halftime approaching Irvine forced their way close to the Garnock try line. The Garnock defence held strong but the referee yellow carded the Garnock No.1 for holding illegally. Irvine elected to kick for touch. They won another penalty and chose a scrum. From the scrum Rushin Filander drove over well out. The conversion was missed and Irvine went in at halftime down 19 – 5.

The second half started much in the same vein as the first. Penalty after penalty was conceded by Garnock allowing Irvine to easily progress to the Garnock danger area. It was no surprise when Craig Williams gathered a loose ball and sprinted the length of Lochshore to score near the posts. The conversion was good and the score moved to 19 – 12 after 45 minutes.

Garnock seemed to regroup after this setback. Another penalty award saw Walker kick to the Irvine 22 line to set up an attacking position. A quickly taken tap penalty followed by slick passing allowed Ewan Perry to speed up the right wing and score a well-worked try. Keir Walker converted and Garnock led 26 – 12 after 53 minutes play.

Twelve minutes later after a prolonged Irvine onslaught close to the Garnock line and Garnock conceding four penalties in a row, the referee awarded Irvine a penalty try for persistent infringing to bring the score to 26 – 19.

The final fifteen minutes was very scrappy with penalties spoiling the run of play.

With 4 minutes to go a Garnock prop was yellow carded for what was deemed to be repeated infringements and shortly thereafter the Garnock scrum half was yellow carded for persistent “talking” reducing Garnock to 13 for the remainder of the game.

After a sustained period of pressure by the Irvine pack their numerical superiority finally told with their full back scoring near the corner. A fine touchline conversion followed.

Final score Garnock 26 points Irvine 26 points with each side gaining a try bonus point.

Next Saturday 30th November Garnock travel to Lenzie to play the local side in a league match.


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