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Last Minute Defeat For Garnock

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Last Minute Defeat for Garnock

Reported by Tom Dickson

Garnock made the trip to the Solway Firth to continue their quest for league points against perennial opponents in the form of Annan Rugby Club .

The game kicked-off in glorious sunshine on a pitch made for running rugby with Garnock attacking the home goal line. After only two minutes play they were awarded the first of many penalties awarded by the referee. The difficult kick was missed.

From the restart Garnock knocked on and a scrum awarded to Annan. The powerful valley pack won the ball but were penalised for wheeling. Annan chose to kick for touch and a lineout. The Garnock pack won the put in and cleared their lines. This set the pattern for most of the remainder of the match.

Play swung from end to end with no clear-cut chances emerging due to the solid defence set-ups but Annan were looking the more dangerous side when in possession.

This was borne out in the 22nd minute when Alex Halliday rounded off a smooth handling Annan move by scoring the first try of the match near the posts. McCann converted to put Annan in the lead at 7 – 0.

Garnock replied two minutes later after winning another lineout near their 22-metre line. Scrum half Ben Trodden fed to his backs. The ball was transferred through Keir Walker’s hands to Rory Dominy then Jared Reekie. Ewan Perry joined in the attack and broke through to sprint clear and score near the corner. The kick was missed as the score moved to 7 – 5 for Annan.

This score seemed to settle Garnock and they began to dominate proceedings both in the set and open phases of the game.

In the 35th minute they scored a ‘forwards’ try when, from a 5-metre lineout won in the air by Jonny Watson, the ball was smuggled to Matt Shiells who scored his “trade mark” try. Again, the difficult kick was missed and the score became 7 – 10.

Five minutes later they increased their lead when Walker rounded-off a Garnock attack to score at the posts. He converted and Garnock led at 7-17 at half time.

The second half started with Annan now having the benefit of the slope and the wind. Annan pressed towards the Garnock line and scored a well worked try just after half time through Josh Whitehorn. The simple kick was converted and the score was Annan 14 Garnock 17.

Garnock fielded the restart and forced a scrum at the home 22 metre area. The scrum was won and Trodden jinked to score the Bonus Point try converted by Walker. 45 minutes played and Garnock leading at 14 – 24.

Four minutes later Annan scored when Richard Hetherington touched down near the posts. The conversion brought the score closer at 21-24.

Play settled down with both sides striving to gain the upper hand. Garnock were shading the set scrums and dominating the lineouts through Watson and Alan Miller ably supported by the rest of the forward squad. Both sets of backs were repeatedly looking to running the ball. Chances were few and far between due to good defending, some sloppy passing and several penalty awards being conceded.

With the clock running down and Garnock reduced to 14 players, Annan forced their way close to the Garnock try line. The visitors held out until the last minute when Annan won a penalty, took the award quickly and scored in the corner. The conversion was missed and the referee blew for full time to give Annan a 26-24 victory.

Garnock gained two points from this game – one for scoring four tries and one for finishing within seven points of their opponents.

The Garnock squad on the day was :- Shiells, Wynn, Chapman, Watson, McGeachy, Miller A, Millar DR, Wilson, Trodden, Walker, Johnston, Dominy, Reekie, lee, Perry and Miller J.

Saturday 15th September sees Kilmarnock the visitors at Lochshore in a league encounter with a 3 o’clock kick-off.

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