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Points Secured At Marress

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Garnock Move Up the League. Reported by Tom Dickson

Garnock travelled a dozen miles to play local rivals in Irvine Rugby Club in their first meeting of the current season at Marress Playing Fields.

Garnock kicked off and immediately indicated their willingness to play an open running type of rugby. They were rewarded with a penalty about 30 metres out but the kick at goal was missed due to the swirling wind conditions.

For the first 10 minutes most of the play was in the Irvine half of the pitch. Scrums were being shared but Garnock were beginning to dominate the lineouts with Rory Dominy winning most of the throws.

Both sides were guilty of straying offside which was punished by the referee, a trait throughout the game.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Irvine opened the scoring when their back row combined to force their way over for a try scored by Sione Halafihi at the posts. Robbie McVey converted and Irvine moved into a 7-0 lead.

From the restart Garnock continued as before and drove deep into the Irvine half. The home prop was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle. With the extra man Garnock surged forward and were rewarded when Keir Walker kicked a penalty after the Irvine backs strayed offside. 20 minutes played and the score turned to 7-3.

For the next five minutes it was all Garnock. They went ahead when Luke Wynn gained possession of the ball 30 metres out. He then powered his way to the posts brushing aside would-be tacklers to score a fine individualistic try at the posts. Walker converted and the visitors moved ahead at 7-10.

The rest of the half continued with both sides playing some attractive rugby but without altering the scoreboard. Garnock were still winning most of the lineouts and with scrums now going with the put-in the game was much tighter.

Irvine restarted the second half and drove to the Garnock line. Only some astute line clearance by Ewan Perry and Chris Neil kept Irvine from adding to their score.

In the 55th minute Walker kicked another penalty from centre-field to push Garnock further ahead at 7-13. This seemed to relax Garnock and they had more of the ball but not in the Irvine half.

Garnock were defending inside their own 22 metre area when they won a loose ball. Some sharp handling interplay between Dominy, Irvine and Perry put Reekie in the clear and he sped home from 75 metres out to score at the posts. During this run he changed direction several times, dodged past defenders and outpaced the cover tacklers to score in the best move of the game so far. Walker converted to make it 7-20 in Garnock’s favour.

With time running out and substitutions having been made, it was Irvine who completed the scoring. From a break near their line, Gray kicked ahead and Jamie Doolan proved to be the fastest to react and scored a try in the corner. The conversion was missed.

The final 10 minutes was a hectic period with Irvine trying to salvage something from the match. Four penalties in a row took them to within scoring distance but they could not secure possession at the lineout from the fourth penalty. Dominy won that lineout and the ball was booted off the pitch.

Final score was Irvine 12 points Garnock 20 points.

Next Saturday 6th October Garnock entertain newly-promoted Strathendrick at Lochshore in their 6th league game of the season. Garnock are currently in fourth position in West Regional Division 1. Kick-off is at 3 o’clock.

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