Garnock Show Promise
Garnock Show Promise
(Reported by Tom Dickson)
Saturday saw Garnock host high-flying Carrick at Lochshore. The South Ayrshire squad are in third position in the West Division 1 league and are the winners of this season’s Regional Shield.
The game kicked-off in glorious sunshine accompanied by a strong cross-pitch breeze on a pitch which belied the amount of rain that had fallen on it in the past few weeks. Carrick made the initial thrust into the Garnock half and their forwards launched several attacks towards the Garnock try line. Only some determined tackling and the boot of Rory Walker kept them at bay.
It wasn’t until the 7th minute that the home squad was seen as an attacking force when the Garnock back line ran the ball through several pairs of hands to release Fraser Brockett. However the Carrick defence easily dealt with the threat.
Play swung from end to end for the next period with Garnock dominating the lineouts through Johnny Watson and Alan Miller ably supported by the rest of the pack.
In the 15th minute Carrick were awarded a penalty when Garnock were caught offside. From 30 metres and in front of the posts Carrick’s stand off, Kyle Johnson, converted to open the scoring at Garnock nil Carrick 3 points.
For the next 10 minutes both sides were intent in running the ball at every opportunity. The tackling from both sides was precise and it wasn’t until the 26th minute when referee Stevens awarded Carrick a penalty some 35 metres out in the centre of the field of play that the score altered. Johnson converted and Carrick moved to 6 – 0.
At this point Garnock were matching Carrick in all phases of the game and were playing some of their best rugby of the season bringing their young wingers Brockett and Kier Walker into the game.
In the 36th minute Carrick scored the first try of the game when Michael Kirk rounded of the best move of the game so far to score close to the posts. Jonson converted and the score moved on to 0 – 13 as half time neared.
The second half started as the first ended with each side trying to play open rugby. In a strong Garnock drive their hooker was yellow carded for failing to roll away at a ruck.
With the extra man, Carrick powered their way well inside the Garnock half. Their forwards won a scrum near Garnock’s 22 metre line, the ball was shipped to the threequarters and Greg Montgomery scored a well-worked try. The boot of Johnson added the conversion and Carrick moved to 0 – 18 after 56 minutes.
Carrick started to dominate play and only determined tackling by Garnock kept the score from moving on. During this period Garnock were awarded two convertible penalties but elected to kick for position and attack the Carrick try line from the resultant lineout. On both occasions the Carrick defence withstood powerful scrummage drives by the Garnock pack and eventually cleared the danger.
Carrick came back and in the last quarter of the game scored two converted tries to put the game beyond Garnock’s grasp at 32 – 0 with only five minutes of the game left.
For this period the game was played inside the Carrick 22 metre area. With time up, Garnock won a scrum on their left, fed it through Jared Reekie and Rory Walker for the ball to reach Jordan Taggart who powered his way past the defence to score near the touchline. The conversion was missed and the game brought to a close with Carrick winning by 32 points to 5 points.
This was a better display by Garnock and for most of the game matched their opponents. The Carrick squad were well drilled and were always looking to run the ball. They will be involved in the promotion positions at the end of the season.
On Saturday, 12th March, Garnock play league leaders Glasgow Accies at Lochshore with a 3 o’clock kick-off. The squads have played each other twice already this season. These games have yielded 148 points in two very exciting contests.