Garnock v Allan Glens
Garnock Penalise Glens reported by Tom Dickson
In a penalty-strewn match, Garnock inflicted a second league defeat on high-flying Allan Glen’s at Lochshore.
Garnock kicked off towards the town end but were soon on the defensive as Glen’s were awarded a penalty for collapsing a scrum. From the ensuing lineout the visitors chose to run the ball at the Garnock defence. Only some fine tackling kept the score at zero.
It wasn’t until the 6th minute that Garnock mounted their first foray into their opponent’s half. The home pack won a set scrum and powered forward. The ball was fed out and a typical Jonny Watson burst gained some 30 metres but the Glen’s defence held out.
Play swung from end to end for the next several minutes. Lineouts were being dominated by Watson and Rory Dominy for Garnock but it was Allan Glen’s who struck first in the 14th minute when stand off Scott Thomson converted a penalty awarded when Garnock strayed offside. From 22 metres he easily bisected the posts to make the score 0 – 3.
This roused the home side and they pinned Glen’s well inside their own half. A penalty award was kicked for touch. The five metres lineout was won and the pack drove to the try line. With the ball protected Garnock drove over and Walker was alert enough to score the first Garnock try. The difficult kick was missed but Garnock were ahead 5 – 3 after 22 minutes play.
The remainder of the first half was peppered with penalties awarded for various infringements but all too far out for the kickers to worry the scoreboard. Plus points for Garnock during this spell was the domination of the lineouts and the improving set scrummaging of the pack. The back division led by Gareth McCrorie started to see more of the ball and to pose a threat to their opposition. Allan Glen’s, for their part, showed why they were front runners in the promotion stakes by showing a willingness to run the ball at every chance offered.
Defences held out and the half finished at 5 – 3 in Garnock’s favour.
The match restarted with a flurry of penalties being awarded by referee Wright but it was Garnock who gained from the Allan Glen’s mistakes.
Walker converted penalties in the 48th and 54th minutes and Thomson kicked one for Glen’s in the 43rd minute to make the score 11 – 6 for the home side.
By this time Garnock were the side looking the more likely to score.
The back division were easily coping with any threat that Allan Glen’s could muster and were testing their opponents with McCrorie and centres Jared Reekie and Jordan Taggart posing their own threats.
The forwards were still in charge at lineouts and were getting the upper hand in set scrums.
Again, it was the boot of Walker that increased the Garnock tally when he converted long-range penalties in the 54th and 72nd minutes of the game to push Garnock ahead at 17 – 6 for a well-earned victory at full time.
This was a victory based on teamwork. Although only one try was scored this was an exciting game of rugby played by two sides willing to run the ball at every chance. Both defences were well organised resulting in very few clear-cut chances on offer. The Garnock forwards were the more dominant in the set plays and gave their opponents few openings to show how they have been setting up scoring chances for their back during the season.
Next Saturday Garnock travel to Annan to continue their quest for league points.
The victorious squad was : Shiells, O’Neill, Wynn, McGeachy, Watson, Wilson, Johnston, Dominy, Walker, McCrorie, Brocket, Reekie, Taggart, Woods, Neill, Chapman, Miller DR, Richmond and Miller A.
Full back Chrissie Neill was playing his 300th game for Garnock 1st XV.