Club NewsMatch Reports

Game of Two Very Different Halves

By February 4, 2024No Comments

Garnock faced North Berwick at home on Saturday seeking to consolidate their place at the top of National 4. Unfortunately the coaches were deprived of the services of Rory Walker and Rory Dominy due to illness and injury respectively however young hooker Tom McGuire joined the squad for his league debut. Prop Kenny McDermott and 2nd row David Miller were brought into the starting XV.


The match kicked off with Garnock playing toward the Hub with the strong wind at their backs. The early phases of the game were evenly contested however midway through the half Matt Shiells made a strong carry in midfield taking play into the 22. Two phases later No8 Ross Brocket powered through for the opening score. Conversion good 7-0


Play from both sides was scrappy with a number of handling errors being made and numerous penalties conceded which removed any real flow from the game. With 30 minutes gone Garnock had made their way to just outside the 22 when Jonny Watson took the ball on a short line and breached the defence only to be tackled 10m out. A quick offload to the supporting Stuart Wilson allowed the flanker to score. Conversion good 14-0


The remainder of the half was played without either side threatening to trouble the scoreboard . The first half performance was not the Garnock we have seen for most of the season and the coaches made it clear that accuracy, structure and discipline needed to improve.


Straight from the kick off it was apparent that the home side had taken on board the instructions. The restart was collected and released to Ross Brocket. In trademark fashion the No8 carried strongly well into the North Berwick half before being stopped. The ball was quickly recycled to the backs and Jared Reekie sped to the line. Conversion good 21-0


With the visitors pack clearly tiring Garnock were gaining a significant advantage in the set piece and the scrum in particular. At a midfield scrum Garnock drove the NB pack off their own ball and Keir Walker kicked downfield. At the following ruck Stuart Wilson jackled possession and the ball was given to the backs. Spotting a gap Gareth McCrorie carved through the defence to score from 30m. Conversion successful 28-0


Garnock were now completely dominant and from another turnover around halfway the ball was spread wide and winger Shelton Ferreira scorched down the touchline for a fine solo effort. Conversion successful 35-0


The next score came from a NB scrum on half way. They were driven off the ball and scrum half Keir Walker picked at the base and was able to cruise in from 50m untouched. Conversion good 42-0


Garnock again worked their way into the visitors 22 before the ball was given to the backs and following a break from Jared Reekie he was supported by Ally Anderson and the centre was driven over the line by his back. Conversion missed 47-0


By this time the Garnock coaches had emptied the bench however the pattern of play was unchanged. Another powerful Ross Brocket carry took play well into the NB half . The ball was released to the backs and fullback Per Jacobson was able to dot down in the corner. Conversion good 54-0


With 10 minutes of the half remaining play was just inside the Garnock half when replacement hooker Tom McGuire made a great break well into the visitors half . The supporting Joe Chapman carried the ball strongly before being stopped however the ball was recycled and Ally Anderson finished in the corner. Conv missed 59-0


From the restart Garnock worked their way downfield and applied more pressure in the 22. Eventually the visitors ran out of defenders and Ally Anderson completed his hat-trick. Conv wide 64-0


Scrums had become uncontested and following a rare foray into the Garnock 22 NB knocked on and the home side had a scrum 5m from their own line. Two strong carries later and NB were on the back foot. Jared Reekie broke to half way before he released Shelton Ferreira to cover the final 50 to the line. Con wide 69-0 and full time


If the first 40 minutes had been slightly disappointing the second 40 was more like the Garnock of earlier in the season. Following a break next wee for the Six Nations the next fixture is at home v Dunfermline on 17th February


Garncok squad  Shiells, O’Neill, McDermott, Watson, D Miller, Wilson, Ramsay-Millar, Brocket, Walker, McCrorie, Ferreira, Anderson, Reekie, Wynn, Jacobson  Reps McGuire, Chapman, A Miller, Woods