Garnock Pay the Penalty
Garnock Pay the Penalty.
As reported by Tom Dickson
Garnock travelled to East Kilbride to take on the local side in a West Regional Shield match with expectations of progressing further in the competition. However, in a game strewn with penalties they lost to an EK side who kicked their winning penalty in the last minute of the game.
The game started with Garnock kicking off into a slight breeze. With a minute on the watch Garnock were awarded a penalty 40 metres out. Keir Walker’s kick was accurate and Garnock moved into a three-point lead.
Play concentrated in mid-field for the five or so minutes with neither side gaining the upper hand. The Garnock pack were in control at set scrummages and made progress towards the EK try line but could not break the well-organised home defence.
When EK were caught offside approximately 30 metres out and at an angle, Walker again bisected the posts to make the score 0 – 6 in Garnock’s favour after 8 minutes.
EK began to look the more dangerous squad and their backs began to spread the ball about. They breached the Garnock cover in the 17th minute when their centre (No 13) scored near the posts. The conversion moved EK into the lead at 7 – 6.
This reversal seemed to spur the visitors and they looked the better side. In one of their forays well inside the EK half they were awarded a Penalty Try following a cynical infringement at a 5m scrum to put Garnock in the lead at 7 – 13 after 26 minutes.
With half-time approaching, EK had some telling attacking plays into the Garnock half but could not break down the Garnock defence. When their full back joined the line, his well-timed run split the visitor’s line and he scored at the posts. This made the half-time score tight at EK 14 Garnock 13.
The restart began and with penalties being awarded to both sides resulting in a stop/start type of game. Scrums and lineouts were being shared and play concentrated around the centre of the field of play.
In the 48th minute EK went further ahead with a try by the pack after a series of telling drives. The difficult conversion was missed and the score moved to 19 – 13.
EK were reduced to 14 players when the referee deemed a tackle to be too high. During this spell of numerical superiority Garnock powered their way to the EK try line and, with the pack in support, Luke Wynn scored near the touchline. Walker converted the try.
Sixty minutes played and Garnock were in front at 19 – 20.
Their lead was short lived when the EK kicker converted a penalty from 30 metres three minutes later making it 22 – 20. Five minutes later Walker converted another penalty infringement from 30 metres pushing Garnock in front at 22 – 23.
Play continued with both sides looking to add to their scores in the brightest passage of play. Garnock tried to shut down the home sides attacks while setting their own in motion.
With time running out, EK managed to secure possession and progressed towards the visitors try line. The were awarded a penalty in a kickable position and their kicker rounded of his day by converting the award to make the final score East Kilbride 25 points Garnock 23 points with EK progressing to the next round.
Next Saturday 5th October Garnock travel to local rivals Kilmarnock in a league encounter.