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Garnock Take the Points

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Garnock Take the Points

Reported by Tom Dickson

Last Saturday Garnock welcomed Oban Lorne to Lochshore in another crucial league encounter. The weather and playing conditions were ideal for an open type of rugby match and the two squads did not disappoint the crowd of spectators.

Garnock kicked-off towards the town end of Lochshore but were immediately forced back into their own half from a huge kick from the Oban stand off, Finlay Carmichael. Garnock’s Jordan Taggart stopped the visitor’s drive by conceding a line out. Oban won the ball and set up a powerful drive which was well defended by the Garnock pack.

With five minutes on the clock and from an Oban knock on the first scrum showed how powerful the opposition was when Garnock were pushed off and the scrum reversed to an Oban feed.

For the first fifteen minutes, Oban dictated the play but staunch Garnock defence and some Oban mistakes kept the scoreboard blank.

Gradually Garnock came more into the game with Rory Walker repulsing Oban attacks with long relieving kicks and the breakaway forwards, Jonny Watson, David R Miller and Stuart Wilson snuffing out the sporadic Oban thrusts.

The best attacking movement of the game so far came in the 24th minute when Lewis McGeachy “stole” a ball in the loose, powered forward and passed to Rory Walker. The stand off made several metres and brought Alex Toupou and Jared Reekie into the game. They were halted illegally, as deemed by referee Robertson and from 35 metres Keir Walker converted to put Garnock in front at 3 – 0.

With 31 minutes gone, Garnock were penalised on their 22metre line. Oban stand off Carmichael made no mistake with his kick to level the scores at 3 points each. He repeated the dose 3 minutes later to make the half time score Garnock 3 Oban 6.

Oban restarted and Garnock immediately countered by forcing Oban back. From a passage of loose play Reekie broke out and, in beating three defenders, scored well out. The kick was missed but Garnock moved ahead after 46 minutes at 8 – 6.

Garnock now assumed the ascendency with scrums now being shared and line-outs going Garnock’s way. It was only a matter of time before they increased their lead. It came in the 58th minute when the Garnock won a scrum against the head and the ball was fed out to Rory Walker. With loads of time to spare, he dropped a goal to push the score to 11-6.

The restart was won by Garnock and they forced their way inside the Oban 22 metre area. Their drive to the line was halted and Oban were penalised. From 30 metres, Keir Walker converted. 61 minutes played and Garnock in front at 14 – 6.

With Oban tiring, Garnock drove back into the Oban half and only good defending by the visitors kept them from scoring. From one such drive Garnock were halted and gained a line-out at the Oban 5 metre mark. The ball was won by Jonny Watson and driven to the line where Matt Shiells rounded off a powerful Garnock shove to score a try near the touchline. The conversion was missed to make the score 19 – 6 with two minutes to go.

At full time Garnock coach Gavin Blackburn seemed happy with the result and the manner it had been achieved. Next Saturday his squad travel to Maybole to take on the team immediately above them in the league standings in Carrick Rugby Club with a 3 o’clock kick-off.

The Garnock squad was (from 1 -19) :Luke Wynn, Richard O’Neill, Matt Shiells, Lewis McGeachy, David Miller, Jonny Watson, David R Miller, Stuart Wilson, Keir Walker, Rory Walker, Jordan Taggart, Alex Toupou, Jared Reekie, Fraser Brocket, Chris Neill, Alan Miller, Ross Johnson, Alan Brocket and Danny Irvine.

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