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Garnock’s Victorious Start

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Garnock’s Victorious Start

(Reported by Tom Dickson)

Garnock opened their start to the 2016-17 league campaign with a tightly fought victory against Helensburgh at Rhu, gaining the extra point for scoring four tries.

Garnock introduce debutantes P.Jacobsen, D.McGuire and J.Chapman to the squad in their visit to Helensburgh.

The game started with Garnock kicking-off towards the Firth of Clyde in glorious Autumnal weather. They immediately applied pressure to the home side well within the 22 metre area. It was no surprise that, in the 4th minute, their effort was rewarded when Matt Shiells drove over for a try near the posts. Kier Walker converted to put Garnock into a lead, which they never lost, of 7 points.

Play restarted and was centred in mid-field with neither side gaining the advantage. The Garnock defence was put under pressure but they were able to thwart the numerous Helensburgh forays. After 20 minutes Walker was successful with a goal kick from some 30 metres after the home backs were caught offside and the score became 0 – 10.

Again play seemed to settle down with both sides trying to run the ball at every occasion. Garnock stand off Chris Neill and full back Jacobsen were always on hand to relieve the pressure with telling touch kicking.

Garnock almost scored when Jared Reekie broke free inside his own 22 metre area. The centre outpaced most of the opposition but was finally stopped close to the opposition posts. This position allowed Garnock to force a scrum near the Helensburgh line. They won the ball and drove forward. Again Shiells was on hand to pick up and powerfully drive over to score his second near the posts. Walker converted to put Garnock in the lead at 0 – 17.

Helensburgh rallied and were rewarded with a converted penalty on the stroke of half time to make it 3 – 17 at the break.

Garnock fielded the restart and forced their way well inside the Helensburgh half. At this stage Garnock were starting to gain the supremacy in the set scrums and Johnny Watson was winning the line-out battles.

In the 48th minute their efforts were rewarded when David Ramsey Miller broke out of a line-out and forced his way over the try line for a well worked score. Walker converted and the board showed 3 – 24. Helensburgh struggled to breach the Garnock defensive line hwoever they kicked well from hand turning the Garnock backs. On one of their forays into the Garnock half they scored a well worked try in the left hand corner. The kick was unsuccessful taking the score to 8-24

Within 10 minutes Garnock were again camped inside the home 22 metre area. Helensburgh scrambled the ball clear by punting into touch 5 metres out. With Watson winning the line-out and the Garnock forwards working a “training night” move, Shiells completed his hat-trick of tries by speeding over the line unopposed. Again Walker converted the difficult conversion and put Garnock in front at 8 – 31.

With 10 minutes left to play Garnock slackened off and paid the penalty when the Helensburgh right winger ran in for a converted try after some poor Garnock tackling to make the final score Helensburgh 15 points Garnock 31 points.

The Garnock squad on duty was (from 1 – 19) :J.Miller, D.McGuire, L.Wynn, D.McNair, J.Watson, S.Wilson, D.R.Miller, M.Shiells, K.Walker, C.Neill, T.Woods, A.Anderson, J.Reekie, A.Mitchell, P.Jacobsen, J.Chapman, A.Miller, D.Miller and R. O’Neill.

Next Saturday Garnock face Carrick at Lochshore with a 3 o’clock kick-off.

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