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Garnock on Top in Local Derby

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Garnock on Top in Local Derby

(Reported by Tom Dickson)

Kilmarnock came to Lochshore one position below Garnock in the league standings and left with 11 league points separating the clubs.

Garnock kicked off in glorious weather on a pristine pitch towards the Kilbirnie end of Lochshore. They immediately mounted pressure on the visitors try area and it wasn’t long before they recorded their first score when Keir Walker converted a penalty awarded for an offside offence. Four minutes on the watch and Garnock were in front at 3 – 0.

Two minutes later and a lapse in Garnock’s normally tight defence, saw Stu McEwan round off a very good handling move by Kilmarnock to score near the posts. Scot Brown converted to make it 3 – 7.

This reversal seemed to spur on the home side and they forced their way into the Kilmarnock danger area. From a scrum 25 metres out, the ball was driven closer to the try line, released at the correct time to the backs where Rory Walker rounded of the move with a fine try. The conversion was missed but with 10 minutes played Garnock were back in front at 8 – 7.

For the next 15 minutes both sides played some very entertaining rugby. Both stand offs, Brown and Walker, were instrumental in keeping the scoreboard stationary with their defensive line kicking. Scrums were going with the “head” and lineouts were being shared.

From a lineout near the halfway line, Garnock won the ball, drove forward and Rory Walker cross-kicked to the right wing. Tony Woods fielded under pressure but was able to pass to Jared Reekie who raced over for a try. The conversion was missed and the score became 13 – 7 after 28 minutes.

Play was frantic but very entertaining for the rest of the half. On the 35 minute mark, some poor Garnock tackling allowed Conor Turnbull to score near the touchline. The kick was missed. The score became 13 – 12.

Some indiscipline by Kilmarnock and punished by the referee allowed Keir Walker to convert a penalty after 38 minutes to put the home side 16 – 12 in front. Approaching half time, referee Hoyle broke up a confrontation and yellow carded the Garnock No. 3 and red carded the Kilmarnock No.20.

Keir Walker converted the resulting penalty to make the half time score 19 – 12 in Garnock’s favour.

The second half started at a rapid pace with both sides using the ball well. The Garnock backs came close to scoring when they were forced into touch after a slick interpassing move involving the two Walkers, Jordan Taggart and Woods.                                                                   Kilmarnock powered their way into the Garnock half, were awarded a penalty 20 metres out, Brown made no mistake and Killie closed to 19 – 15 after 48 minutes.

In the 53rd minute Garnock won a lineout 10 metres from the Kilmarnock try line. In a well-rehearsed move, Graeme Reid touched down near the corner to make it 24 – 15.

Garnock won a scrum in their own half and fed the ball to Fraser Brocket on the right wing. The young winger, with 50 metres to go to the opposition try line, beat four would-be tacklers to score in the corner for the best move of the match. Keir Walker converted at 31-15 and the Bonus Point gained and 62 minutes played.

Garnock rounded off a good day when Stuart Wilson powered over from a 5 metre scrum to make the final score 36 – 15 in the 76th minute.

With the game secure, Garnock brought on “old” stalwarts Andy King and Alan Brocket as substitutes to rapturous applause from the crowd of supporters.

The Garnock squad was (1- 20) :- John Miller, Stuart Wilson, Matt Shiells, Lewis McGeachy, Alan Miller, Graeme Reid, David R Miller, Jonny Watson, Keir Walker, Rory Walker, Fraser Brocket, Jordan Taggert, Jared Reekie, Tony Woods, Chris Neill. Alan Brocket, Ross Johnston, Andrew Mitchell, Per Jacobson and Andy King.

Next Saturday (15th) Garnock travel to Wigtown to play high-flying Newton Stewart in a league fixture.

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