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Garnock v Helensburgh Match Report

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Garnock Lose to Helensburgh

Garnock played host to Helensburgh Rugby Club in their opening league game of 2015/16 on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Lochshore.

Both clubs had suffered early exits from the Shield competition and were looking to kick-start their quest for league points.

Helensburgh kicked-off but were immediately pushed back into their own half by a long-ranging kick from stand off Rory Walker.

The game ebbed and flowed between the two 22 metre lines with neither side producing any telling penetrative runs. With 9 minutes on the clock, Helensburgh were awarded a penalty 30 metres out when Garnock strayed offside. Their scrum half, Sterry, hit the post with his attempt and Garnock were able to clear to the halfway.

Helensburgh were beginning to dominate the attacking plays but Garnock were coping with any threat posed.

After 18 minutes Helensburgh were reduced to 14 players for the next 10 minutes when their No. 6 was sin-binned for handling on the ground.

Garnock began to come more into the game as an attacking force with their backs in Ewan Perry, Chris Neill, Jordan Taggart and Jared Reekie making telling runs to the visitor’s 22 metre area.

However, it was the seaside visitors who scored first from another penalty for an offside infringement. Sterry converted the award from 22 metres to make the score Garnock 0 Helensburgh 3 after 35 minutes play.

Garnock stepped up their efforts, won a scrum against the head and forced Helensburgh to kick the ball into touch. The lineout ball was won by David Miller and fed to the backs. In what was the best move of the match so far, the ball was transferred, at speed, from Paul Johnson to Walker, to Neill for Reekie to release Taggart who showed his speed and touched down near the corner for a well worked score. The difficult kick was missed but Garnock were in front 5 – 3 at half time.

The second half began and for the first 15 minutes the level of play was poor.

In the 18th minute Helensburgh won a lineout 10 metres from the Garnock line and chose to drive the ball forward. Their front row player, Liam Flannagan, was on hand to dive over and score, Sterry converted and Helensburgh moved into a 10 – 5 lead.

Three minutes later Garnock replied in like fashion. From a lineout 25 metres from the Helensburgh posts, they drove the ball towards the try line. With all eight forwards working together they crossed the white line and with Matt Sheils scoring the try and Walker converting they brought the score to 12 – 10 in Garnock’s favour.

The lead was short-lived as Helensburgh converted a penalty a minute later to make it 12- 13 for Helensburgh after 65 minutes play.

Garnock tried hard for the next 10 minutes to add to their score but dogged defence by Helensburgh and some poor handling by Garnock failed to move the score on.

It was left to Michael Kinsman to complete the Helensburgh day when he scored a try from broken play. Sterry converted to make the final score Garnock 12 Helensburgh 20.

The Garnock squad on the day was (1-19) John Miller (Captain), Richard O’Neill, Matt Shiells, David Miller, Johnny Watson, Luke Wynn, David Ramsey Miller, Alan Miller, Paul Johnson, Rory Walker, Jordan Taggart, Chris Neill, Jared Reekie, Cammy Perry, Ewan Perry, Ross Johnson, Grant Ruxton, Ali Anderson and Andrew Mitchell.

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