Last Gasp Victory at Annan
Last Gasp Garnock Victory in Annan.
Reported by Tom Dickson
Garnock travelled to Annan seeking to move up the league table in the only scheduled game in West Division 1. The game held the attention of the supporting crowd right up until the last minute of play with both teams scoring at regular intervals
Garnock kicked off in the overcast and cold conditions and were awarded a penalty for interference at the first lineout. Rory Walker found touch at the home 22 metre line. With the lineout won through Ross Johnston, the pack drove forward. The drive was halted when the Annan backs were caught offside. From 22 metres and in mid-field Keir Walker opened the scoring with his penalty conversion. Three minutes played and Garnock in a three-point lead.
Play swung from end to end for the next ten minutes with neither side getting the upper hand due to tight defensive set-ups.
During this spell Chris Neill and Ben Trodden opened up the Annan defence but were stopped close to the try line.
In the 15th minute Garnock were awarded a penalty for a scrummage infringement at the Annan 10-metre line. Again, Keir Walker converted to put the visitors in front at 0 – 6 after 15 minutes.
This reversal seemed to spur Annan on and they started to play the better rugby threatening the Garnock try line. It was no surprise when their enterprise produced the first try of the match when Alex Halliday outpaced the cover defence to score near the posts. The conversion was completed and Annan led 7 – 6 after 23 minutes.
Two minutes later Walker converted his third penalty from 30 metres given when Annan were again caught offside. This gave Garnock the lead at 7 – 9.
The first half finished with two tries being scored – one by either side. The first came about when, in the 32nd minute Keir Walker rounded off the best move of the game so far to score a try well out. This try started when Garnock won a scrum “against the head” and elected to run the ball from just inside the Annan half. Slick passing from Robbie Fraser to Rory Walker and on to Keir allowed the centre to weave his way over.
The Annan try came in the last minute of the half when Bell chased a kick through and was fast enough to touch-down well out. The conversion was missed and the half ended at Annan 12 pts Garnock 14 pts.
The restart began with both sides cancelling each other’s attacks through tight marking. In the 47th minute Annan won a lineout about 18 metres from the Garnock line and elected to drive forward. They were rewarded when their No. 3 ploughed over to score. The difficult kick was missed but Annan again moved into the lead at 17 – 14.
The next half-hour saw Garnock trying to build concentrated passages of play. At this stage Garnock were winning most set scrums and with the lineouts going with the put ins they looked the more likely to score.
However, a succession of penalties conceded by both squads prevented any real chances of further scoring.
That was until the last minute of a tight entertaining game.
The Garnock pack drove inside the Annan 22. The were rewarded with a penalty and elected to kick to touch. With the lineout won the ball was fed out to the backs. With a bit of space opening up, Rory Dominy dodged through and scored at the posts. The conversion was good and Garnock ran out winners by 21 points to 17 points.
Both sides never stopped trying to play an open entertaining game much to the joy of the spectators.
The Garnock squad was (1-19) : Shiells, O’Neill, Wynn, McGeachy, Miller D, McIntosh, Johnston, Wilson, Fraser, Walker R, Trodden, Dominy, Walker K, Perry, Neill, Miller F, Chapman, Wright and Lee.
Next Saturday Garnock are at home to Stewartry with a three o’clock kick-off.