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Garnock and Irvine in Drawn Match

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Garnock and Irvine in Drawn Match

As reported by Tom Dickson

On Saturday Irvine and Garnock both completed their scheduled games for season 2018/19 in a match at Lochshore. Neither side were in the promotion or relegation areas of the league.

The game was played in bright sunshine but with a very strong wintery gale blowing across the field making kicking and passing a lottery.

Garnock kicked-off towards the town end of Lochshore. They tried to build on their possession but the Irvine defence withstood the Garnock attacks. They did score after 4 minutes play when Keir Walker intercepted a wayward pass to score well out. The conversion was good and the score became 7-0 to Garnock.

For the next passage of play the Garnock forwards came more into the game in winning several set scrums and setting up powerful drives forward. It was from a lineout and a controlled drive to the scoring area that Walker was quickest to score his second try near the touchline. The conversion was missed – Garnock ahead at 12 – 0 after 12 minutes.

For the next phase of the game both sides tried to master the weather conditions. The play concentrated in the area between the two 22 metre lines. Both sides were guilty of conceding penalties but any attempt at goal was thwarted by the wind.

In the 35th minute Garnock gathered the ball at their own 22 metre line, fed to winger Ben Trodden who spied a gap, burst through and outpaced the cover defence to score at the posts. Walker converted to push the score to 19 – 0.

With half time looming, Irvine were awarded a penalty, elected to kick for touch some 10 metres from the Garnock line. They won the lineout and drove to the scoring area where David Kirkwood had the final say of the half to score a try. The conversion was missed, the referee blew to end the half and the score-board operator flagged up 19 – 5 on the board.

The second half started and play continued as before with neither side threatening to score. Garnock were reduced to fourteen when their No.4 was sin-binned for illegal scrummaging in the 55th minute.

Five minutes later Irvine scored a well worked try at the posts when McVeigh touched down. Gray converted and the score became 19 – 12.

This score seemed to raise the play of the Irvine backs and only good cover tackling by the home side kept the score stationary. At this point Irvine looked the more likely to score.

This they did in the 66th minute of the game when Neil McMillan ran over the try line unopposed to score at the posts. The easy conversion made the score 19 points each.

With time running out, both squads tried to gain the upper hand. The Garnock pack, dominant in the first half, were now finding it difficult to match the Irvine forwards.

Garnock worked their way upfield and despite a period of sustained pressure on the Irvine line the visitors defence held firm.

The game ended with the score at 19 – 19 and both sides ending their season with a draw. Garnock finished in fourth position and Irvine in fifth after their 22- match season ended here at Lochshore.

The Garnock squad on duty was Fraser Miller, Richard O’Neil, James Gibb, Matt Shiells, Joe Chapman, Stuart Wilson, Ross Johnston, Rory Dominy, Keir Walker, Chris Neil, Ben Trodden, Jordan Taggart, Ally Anderson, Tony Woods, Per Jacobson, Grant Ruxton, Fraser Brocket, Matthew Walker and Mathew Lee.

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