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Garnock Show Progress

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Garnock Show Progress

(Reported by Tom Dickson)

Six months ago Garnock entertained Carrick Rugby Club at Lochshore and lost by 32 points to 5. For this season’s match Garnock held the Maybole side for most of the 80 minutes but lost 7 – 13 in a hard contested game which had the spectators enthralled until the final whistle.

Garnock kicked off in typical Scottish driech conditions. Carrick’s stand –off Johnson kicked to touch at his own 10 metre line. Winning the lineout, Garnock drove to well inside the Carrick 22 metre area. Again Johnson came to their rescue to kick to the halfway line.

At this point both squads seemed to be intent in testing each other and they were playing a high standard of rugby to the delight of the watching crowd.

Play swung from end to end, mainly controlled by the two sets of forwards, for the initial 15 minutes. Several forays were attempted by the backs but defences held strong.

Prominent for Garnock in this period was 20 metre drive by Luke Wynn, a Fraser Brocket break only halted by a high tackle on the winger, Rory Walker’s line kicking and Garnock’s winning most of the lineouts.

In the 23rd minute, referee McQuarrie, deemed Garnock to have entered a maul incorrectly and from 30 metres Johnson put Carrick in front from the resulting penalty at 0 – 3.

Play continued to flow with Carrick’s threequarters coming more into the game. This phase of the game showed Garnock’s centres Jared Reekie and Jordan Taggart as powerful defenders as well as attackers.

Both sides were giving away too many penalties, none of which were converted and the first half ran out without further scoring.

The second half started much like the first with the two sides well matched.

With 10 minutes of the half played, Carrick’s left winger, Lewis Clark, was given space to run after a good threequarter move by Carrick. He had the pace to outrun the Garnock defence to score at the posts. Johnson converted to make the score 0 -13.

This seemed to spur the home squad to a higher effort. They spent most of the next quarter of the game driving towards the Carrick line but were always halted some way short.

Their reward came in the 71st minute of the game when the referee justly awarded Garnock a Penalty Try after the Carrick forwards had illegally stopped Garnock’s forwards from scoring on four or five occasions within 10 metres of the score line. Carrick’s Number 4 was held responsible for the last offence and was sin binned for 10 minutes.

Keir Walker converted the awarded try and the score moved on to 7 – 13.

Despite several efforts in the remaining minutes, Garnock could not break down the visitors and the game ended a bit tamely in mid-field.

After the game Coach Blackburn felt disappointed in losing the game. He said “It did come down to fine margins and the bounce of the ball. I felt we dictated the game at times through our forwards and the running of 9 and 10 was very positive. Our scrum in the first half was excellent and put Carrick under real pressure. Again our defensive play was excellent with our players working hard to be accurate in this area. We just need to be a little more patient when in the opposition 22.

We look forward to working hard in training this week, identifying our work-ons to again improve our performance next Saturday against Annan.”

The Garnock squad on the day was (1-19) :- John Miller, David McGuire, Luke Wynn, David McNair, Jonny Watson, Stuart Wilson, David R Miller, Matt Shiells, Keir Walker, Rory Walker, Ally Anderson, Jordan Taggart, Jared Reekie, Fraser Brocket, Chrissie Neill, Richard O’Neill, Lewis McGeachy, Alan Miller and Andrew Mitchell.

Next Saturday (10th) Garnock are at home to Annan with a 3 o’clock kick-off.

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