Garnock Win on the Road
Reported by Tom Dickson
Garnock travelled to Annan to take on the side who beat them in the early rounds of the West Shield looking to put a better show than they did last September. Although Annan were missing a few regulars, Garnock succeeded in producing their highest scoring total of the season so far.
In all they scored 10 tries in a game they dominated from the start.
Annan kicked off towards the clubhouse end in bright but bitterly cold conditions. The home side kept Garnock pinned inside their own half for the first couple of minutes before Gareth McCrorie forced them back with a deft kick and chase which was touched down by Annan.
Play swung about the half-way line with neither side generating any scoring chances.
In the 9th minute Jordan Taggart scored at the posts when he raced past defenders after McCrorie had breached the first line of Annan’s defence. Keir Walker converted to make it 0 – 7 in Garnock’s favour.
Annan almost scored in the 13th minute when their stand off slipped through the Garnock defenders but extra cover was there to thwart the stand-off.
In the 16th minute Fraser Brocket was on hand to round off a Garnock move which saw the ball travel the hands of Walker, McCrorie, Taggart and Jared Reekie. Brocket finished the move of in style, Walker converted and Garnock moved ahead at 0 – 14.
Garnock went further ahead when Walker saw a gap appear at a maul near the Annan line to dot the ball down for an opportunistic try. The difficult kick was missed and the score moved on to 0 – 19.
At this point Annan came more into the game but Garnock were beginning to rule the lineouts and dominate the set scrums. The Garnock tackling was always able to halt the few intrusions from the home players.
It was no surprize that Garnock scored the bonus point try before half time when again Brocket scored after great work by the forwards allowed the backs to set up the score. Walker converted and Garnock went in at half time 26 points in front and looking much the better side.
The second half started in much the same way as the first had ended with Garnock attacking the Annan line. Only a last- ditch tackle prevented Taggart from scoring in the opening minute. However, it only delayed the inevitable.
In the 47th minute, Garnock won a scrum in mid-field. The ball was transferred from Walker to McCrorie to Taggart and when full-back Ewan Perry was brought into the movement a try was scored. The difficult conversion was missed and the score moved on to 0 – 31.
During the half a further five tries were scored.
In the 49th minute the Garnock backs again cut through the home defence to allow Brocket in for his third try of the match. The kick was missed and the score became 0 – 36.
With 54 minutes played Walker added the seventh when he was fast enough to see a gap and sped through after the Garnock pack won another set scrum. The kick was missed and the score moved on to 0 – 41.
Rory Dominy was next on the score sheet in the 62nd minute when he broke away from the base of a scrum to score at the posts. Walker converted to push Garnock further ahead at 0 – 48.
Perry scored the ninth try in the 73rd minute after the Garnock line jumpers won the ball on an Annan put in on the home 22 metres line. The ball was fed out and the ever-alert full back scored his second at the posts. Walker converted to make it 0 – 55.
The final try came in the last minute of the game when Reekie rounded off another good handling by the Garnock backs after the forwards had won a scrum on the half way line. Slick handling made the space for the Garnock centre to speed through and dot down at the posts. Walker converted and the final score became 0 – 62 for the valley squad.
This was a crushing victory for Garnock and brings them back into the promotion hunt. Although the Annan squad were missing some regulars then never gave up trying to run the ball where possible. On the day, Garnock were much the better side. Their play was positive and always with a purpose in mind.
The Garnock squad was (1-19) ; Shiells, O’Neil, Wynn, McGeachy, Watson, DR Miller, Johnston, Dominy, Walker, McCrorie, Brocket, Reekie, Taggart, Halbert, Perry, Chapman, D.Miller, Richmond and A.Miller.
Next Saturday Garnock travel to East Kilbride to take on the local much improved squad with a 3 o’clock kick-off.