Garnock Leave it Late
Garnock Leave it Late.
(Reported by Tom Dickson)
Garnock were forced into three changes from the previous week’s squad with Joe Chapman, Graeme Reid and Tony Woods joining the squad in place of the absentees.
Garnock kicked off towards the Kilbirnie end of play in fine sunny weather conditions. They made progress into the Annan 22 metre area but were forced into touch 8 metres out.
Jonny Watson, ably assisted by his lifters, won the lineout, his first of many in the game. However, Annan managed to clear their lines.
Play settle down with both sides trying to gain the upper hand but both defences held strong.
The first half was a bruising affair mainly played in centre-field with both sides guilty of giving away too many penalties. Highlights included the line kicking of Rory Walker, the hard running of Jordan Taggart and the tackling of the Garnock backs when put under pressure.
Garnock did have one attempt at converting a penalty from just inside the Annan half but the ball just dropped short.
With both sides cancelling each other out and play being mostly conducted near the middle of the field it was no surprise when referee McLean brought the half to a close without any scoring.
The second half restarted with Garnock on the back foot and again Rory Walker’s line kicking kept Annan from changing the score.
Fifteen minutes into the half Taggart had another telling run from his own half, evaded would-be tacklers and was forced into touch 10 metres from the Annan try line.
This sparked Annan into attacking mode and for the next few minutes they looked very dangerous. The Garnock defence held strong but from a scrum 35 metres out Annan finally made the breakthrough which had been on the cards, when J.Kirby showed a clean pair of heels to score near the corner. The difficult conversion was missed but with 63 minutes on the watch Annan moved into the lead at 0 – 5.
Annan, buoyed by their lead, continued to hold the upper hand in the exchanges but gradually Garnock came more into the game. The home defence tightened up, the forwards began to dominate in the set pieces and play was concentrated mostly in the Annan half.
Fraser Brocket was unlucky not to score when he was bundled into touch after the best Garnock attacking movement involving all the threequarters after in the 70th minute of the game.
With five minutes remaining, Garnock were awarded a scrum near the halfway line. The forwards won the ball and fed it to the backs. They, in turn, kept their patience with a sequence of passes and moved the ball through four sets of hands to allow Tony Woods to score near the touchline to tie the scores at 5 points each. The difficult conversion was superbly struck by Keir Walker to put Garnock in front at 7 – 5.
The remainder of the game was frenetic, with both sides trying to add to the score but again the defensive quality of both cancelled out any chance of further scoring and the game was brought to a close with Garnock the victors at 7 points to five and four league points secured.
The Garnock squad was (1-19): John Miller, Richard O’Neill, Luke Wynn, David McNair, Jonny Watson, Alan Miller, David R Miller, Matt Shiells, Keir Walker, Rory Walker, Andrew Mitchell, Jordan Taggart, Jared Reekie, Fraser Brocket, Ally Anderson, Joe Chapman, Lewis McGeachy, Graeme Reid and Tony Woods.
On Saturday (17th) Garnock travel to high-flying East Kilbride for their next league encounter with a 3 o’clock kick-off.