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Garnock’s Hat Trick

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Garnock’s Hat Trick                                                         (Reported by Tom Dickson)

Stewartry Rugby Club were the visitors at Lochshore last Saturday where Garnock stalwart, Chris Neill, made his seasonal debut .

Garnock kicked off towards the dressing rooms and immediately set out their stall. In the first 5 minutes all the play was within 25 metres of the Stewartry try line. They won the visitors first put in to the lineout, took the first scrum of the game and only came short of scoring the first try of the game.

After seven minutes Garnock did score through younster Matthew Richmond. The young right winger rounded of a move started by the forwards and carried on by the threequarters when he powered over near the touchline. The conversion was narrowly missed as Garnock moved to a 5 – 0 lead.

Play continued as before with Garnock dictating play. Highlights in the following 12 minutes included strong running from the Garnock centres, Jared Reekie and Ally Anderson, superb clearing kicks by Keir Walker and a willingness of Garnock to run the ball wherever possible.

In the 21st minute Garnock ran a penalty awarded on the left side of the field. The ball was shipped to Chris Neil some 20 metres from the try line.

The veteran stand off side-stepped his opposition to score at the posts. Walker converted to make the score 12 – 0.

Play settled down a little and Stewartry came more into the game with their backs looking to break through the Garnock defence. The home squad were more than capable of dealing with the potential of the visitors and with their back row of Stuart Wilson, David R Miller and Rory Dominy foraging all over the field, the half ended without further scoring.

The second half commenced as the rain slackened off and Stewartry forced their way well inside the Garnock 22 metre area. They were held out by dogged defence and Garnock fell foul of referee Stevens resulting in Stewartry gaining a raft of penalties.

All were kicked for position at the lineout but poor throw-ins allowed Garnock some escape.

After 53 minutes Fraser Brocket put Garnock further ahead when he touched down after Reekie and Anderson had opened up the visitors defence to put Garnock 17 – 0 in front.

Garnock were reduced to 14 when they lost a player due to a technical infringement in the 62nd minute.

From the resulting penalty scrum half John Picken broke through to score at the posts. Craig Moses converted to make the score 17 – 7.

Five minutes later Garnock kicked a penalty to touch about 8 metres out. The lineout was easily won and fed along the line to Reekie. He, in turn, sped past the Stewartry defenders to score near the posts for the Bonus Point try. Walker converted to push the score to 24 – 7 for Garnock after 69 minutes.

Play seemed to slacken off with both sets cancelling each other’s attacks.

However, Stewartry had the last score in the last minute of play when they moved up-field towards the Garnock posts via a number of penalties. They set up several powerful thrusts toward the Garnock line and were finally rewarded when their forwards crashed over to score near the posts. Moses converted. To make the final score Garnock 24 Stewartry 14.

This win was Garnock’s third from three starts and puts them in a strong position in the league so early in the season.

The Garnock squad was (1-20) : Wynn, O’Neill, Shiells, McGeachy, Watson, Wilson, DR Miller, Dominy, Walker, Neill, Richmond, Reekie, Anderson, Brocket, Woods, J.Miller, Gibb, D.Miller and Johnstone.

Next Saturday Garnock are at home to Greenock Wanderers with a 3 o’clock kick-off.

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