Garnock’s Narrow Victory at East Kilbride
Garnock’s Narrow Win at East Kilbride Reported by Tom Dickson
Garnock, in third place, travelled to play fourth placed East Kilbride in what proved to be a tight match.
Garnock started the game and camped well inside the home half. EK kicked a penalty award to their 10m line. Garnock won the lineout through Jonny Watson and forced their way towards the try line.
Their reward was a penalty at the 32 metres area. Keir Walker duly converted and in four minutes Garnock were in front at 0 – 3.
Their lead was short-lived when Ethan Aitken replied in kind. Six minutes played and the scores were level at 3 points each.
EK were beginning to get on top and only some staunch Garnock defence kept the scores even. However, in the 13th minute Callum Simpson broke through the lax tackling to score in a well-rehearsed EK move at the posts. Aitken converted to push EK ahead at 10 – 3.
Play continued as before with neither side able to gain the upper hand. This was mainly due to good defence and poor handling of the ball, interspersed by too many penalties being conceded by both squads.
In the 24th minute Garnock’s Jordan Taggart was fed the ball on the halfway line and broke through but was stopped short close to the try line.
For the next 10 minutes play was dull and the EK No.3 was sin-binned for repeated infringements by EK close to their try line. This spurred Garnock on and it was no surprise that they levelled the score in the 38th minute when Walker scored from the base of the scrum after eluding several tacklers. He converted the try and the half came to an end at 10 points each.
The second half started with EK looking much the better side and in the 44th minute they went ahead when Aiden Stott rounded off the best running move of the game so far to score a well worked try under the posts. Aitken converted and EK moved ahead at 17 – 10.
Garnock took the initiative after that score and pressed towards the EK 22 metre area. The gained a penalty and chose to go for a touch. From the line out Stuart Wilson peeled off and scored a try near the touchline.
The difficult conversion was missed but the score narrowed to 17 – 15 after 50 minutes.
Garnock kept the pressure on the EK squad and were rewarded with another penalty in the 59th minute. One of the EK players kicked the ball away and the referee added on 10 metres and the difficult kick turned in to an easier one which Walker converted. Finally, Garnock were in front at 17 – 18.
Garnock once again gained the upper hand and spent the next 20 minutes camped well inside the EK half.
EK defended well and eventually worked their way into the Garnock 22. Garnock conceded one to many penalties and Keir Walker was shown a yellow card. Fortunately for Garnock the kick at goal was missed and they retained their slender one point advantage.
Notwithstanding the numerical disadvantage Garnock looked the much better side with Matt Shiells having two powerful runs inside the EK half to emphasise this. The Garnock defence was not put under any serious pressure.
In the final minute of the game Alan Miller scored at the posts. Chris Neill converted to make the final score 17 – 25 in Garnock’s favour.
This victory keeps Garnock in third position with the possibility of moving to second, depending on the result of the last games. On Wednesday 9th Garnock pay Kilmarnock away with a 7.30pm KO and Irvine on Saturday 10th again away with a 3 o’clock KO.
The Garnock squad was :-Shiells, O’Neill, Wynn, McGeachy, Watson, A. Miller, DR Miller, Wilson, Walker, Neill, F. Brocket, Reekie, Taggart, Johnston, Richmond, R. Brocket, D. Miller, F. Miller and A. Brocket.