Garnock’s Nine In A Row
Garnock entertained Annan Rugby Club last Saturday in the return fixture from September in which Annan won by converting a try in the last minute of play at Annan. Since then Garnock have won their last eight matches in a row.
Annan kicked off in a bright sunny but cold day and immediately camped well inside the Garnock half. Gradually, Garnock came into the game and took possession of the ball. They won a lineout some 20m from the Annan line, elected to drive forward as a unit and as the ball was released Lewis McGeachy was on hand to power over midway out. Keir Walker’s conversion put Garnock in the lead at 7-0 after 4 minutes played.
This reversal seemed to spur on the visitors and they dominated proceedings for the next passage of play. Scrums were evenly contested but Garnock were beginning to gain the upper hand in the lineouts through Jonny Watson and Alan Miller.
Young fullback Per Jacobson chipped the ball behind the Annan defence and only some desperate clearance saved the day. From the resulting Annan knock-on Garnock won the put-in and drove forward from the 22m line to give McGeachy his second try of the day when he scored near the touchline. The conversion was missed as they scored moved on to 12-0 after 20 minutes.
Three minutes later Walker punished Annan with a penalty conversion as their backs were deemed to have strayed offside – score became 15-0.
Garnock scored two more tries before half time to secure the Try Bonus Point: the first came from Walker when the scrum half picked up from a set scrum easily won by the Garnock pack – he dodged through the visitors’ defence in dazzling fashion to score at the posts to make the score 22-0; the second saw McGeachy score his third try of the day when he powered his way through would be tacklers and scored well out. the difficult conversion was missed as Garnock moved on to 27-0.
Some consolation for Annan as Craig McCann converted a penalty award with the last play of the first half to make the score 27-3 at the whistle.
Garnock started the second half with a bang. The forwards won a scrum 35m from the Annan line. Instead of driving forward they elected to run and interpassed the ball through four sets of hands before releasing Jared Reekie at speed. The centre proved too fast for the cover and scored well out. 43 minutes played and Garnock led 32-3.
Five minutes later and it was Alan Miller’s turn to get on the scoreboard when he rounded off a strong Garnock pack’s run and passing move to score close to the posts. Walker converted to push the score to 39-3.
Play continued to be concentrated in midfield for the next few minutes. In one passage of play the Annan backs showed that there were not out of the game. They latched on to a poor Garnock pass, fed the ball to their speedy backs to release fullback Josh Whiteside, who crossed to score at the touchline. 52 minutes played and the score was 39-8.
This score encouraged the Annan squad for a spell, but they had no answer when James Gibb was on hand to pick and score after the Garnock pack had set up several attempts to score from 5m. Walker converted, and the score was 46-8 after 57 minutes.
On the hour mark and with Garnock well inside the Annan half, Reekie half broke through and fed the ball to Ben Trodden who showed great pace and scored a try in the corner.
There was time for one more try. Captain Matt Shiells gathered the ball 30m out and powered his way towards the line. Evading the cover defence, he touched down at the posts. The conversion was successful and the final score was Garnock 58-8 Annan.
Again, this was a victory based on team work. Annan came to Lochshore in 5th position in the league and on a successful run of victories, looking to repeat their performance earlier in the season. However, this Garnock squad play as a team and showed this by their victory. Nine league games won since September gave them first position in the table.
Next Saturday Garnock travel to Kilmarnock to play the local side with a 2.00pm kick off.