Garnock In Thrilling Bonus Point Win
Garnock travelled to Lenzie with a much changed squad from the previous week and gained a five point victory against Lenzie. Positional changes and the return of Andrew Mitchell, Rory Walker, Cammy Perry and Chrissy Neill gave the backs a better looking blend.
Garnock kicked off on a bright summery day but were immediately driven back into their own half by the powerful looking home squad. With only four minutes played, they lost a scrum 20 metres out. Lenzie fed the ball out through their backs to release winger Danny McCrae who scored near the posts. The conversion was missed but Lenzie were in front 5 – 0.
Five minutes later Garnock scored through Matt Shiells after a period of sustained pressure. The front row player was in the right place to score, ably assisted by the rest of the forward pack. Rory Walker converted and after nine minutes it was 5 – 7 to Garnock.
Play centered between the two 22 metre lines with both squads testing each other but defences held tight.
In the 17th minute Garnock won a lineout at the home 5 metre line. They caught and drove to the try line and Paul Johnson finished off the move by scoring at the posts. Walker converted to make the score 5 – 14 to the valley squad.
Garnock were now taking the initiative and it was no surprise when they went further ahead. They won a maul just outside the Lenzie 22 and the ball was transferred to Jordan Taggart. He beat three defender to run in a try close to the posts. Walker duly converted to put Garnock ahead 5 – 21.
Lenzie came back at Garnock with an unconverted try by Chris Paterson in the 31st minute and a penalty in the 36th minute to make the half time score 13 – 21 in Garnock’s favour.
The second half started at a frantic pace with both sides trying to grind out a further score but solid tackling by both sets of players kept the scorer redundant. In the 60th minute Garnock were reduced to fourteen when Shiells was unlucky to be sin binned for being too quick around the base of a ruck. Lenzie converted the resultant penalty to move closer at 16 – 21.
Three minutes later the Garnock backs in Chrissy Neill, Jordan Taggart and Jared Reekie were denied a score when the determined Lenzie defence held them out in the best move of the game so far.
On 65 minutes Walker added three points to the Garnock total with a penalty conversion to make it 16 – 24.
Garnock were now running the ball at every chance awarded them and Cammy Perry was on hand to finish off a fine move involving Walker, Reekie and Taggart when he outpaced the home defence to score the bonus point try. Walker converted to push Garnock further in front at 16 – 31 after 68 minutes play.
This set up a blistering final 10 minutes. With nine minutes left Lenzie scored a converted try moving the score on to 23 – 31 and on the 75th minute repeated the dose to make it a one point game at 30 – 31.
Into the final minute and Lenzie were camped inside the Garnock 22 metre area. Their forwards were forcing Garnock to make tackles to hold on to their slim lead however with the last play of the game they burst through the defensive line but went into touch in goal and the referee signalled for full time
It was difficult to pick out a Garnock Man of the Match in this game. There were no failures in the squad with each player knowing his role and carrying it out. The forwards shared the scrums and the lineouts but were more dominant in the loose play and at the rucks and mauls.
The backs for their part tackled well and took their tries with some powerful running.
The Garnock coach was full of praise for his squad but will not need to go to a manicurist for some time.
The Garnock squad was as follows (from 1 – 19) John Miller (captain), Richard O’Neill, Matt Shiells, Lewis McGeachy, Jonny Watson, Luke Wynne, David Ramsey Miller, Alan Miller, Paul Johnson, Rory Walker, Andrew Mitchell, Jared Reekie, Cammy Perry, Jordan Taggart, Chrissy Neill, Gavin Paul, Ross Johnson, Grant Ruxton and Ian Loach.
Next Saturday Garnock are at home to Cambuslang with a 1 o’clock kick-off (due to World Cup games)