Club NewsMatch Reports

Garnock Convincing Against Stewartry

By December 17, 2023No Comments

In their final league fixture of 2023 Garnock took to the field at Lochshore against familiar foes Stewartry. The visitors had come through the play-off at the end of last season to join Garnock in National 4


Garnock were seeking to continue their excellent start to their league campaign while Stewartry we sitting mid-table. The match kicked off in dry conditions and despite the wet weather during the week the playing surface was relatively firm.

The Garnock pack was along familiar lines however the backs line up showed a number of changes as Rory Dominy and Rory Walker unavailable. Ally Anderson took the No12 jersey and 19 year old Shelton Ferreira made his first start for the club on the wing.


It was clear from the early stages that Garnock were going to take it to the visitors through the pack using their big ball carriers. With only 5 minutes played Garnock had the throw to a lineout 5m out and from the resultant catch and drive Matt Shiells crashed over. Conversion good 7-0


The game was littered with penalties with both sides being penalised by the referee on a regular basis for minor infringements. From one such penalty Garnock again kicked to the corner. Although they were aware what was to follow Stewartry were unable to halt the Garnock pack and No8 , Ross Brocket was next to score. Conversion successful 14-0


Stewartry, as is their way, were keen to put the ball through the hands at every opportunity however the Garnock defence generally coped well . With 20 minutes played Garnock conceded back to back penalties allowing the visitors in to their 22. Following a number of phases poor defence allowed Stewartry to score out wide. Successful conversion 14-7


This reverse galvanised the home side and Stewartry were struggling to cope with the strength in the carry of Ross Brocket, Matt Shiells and Joe Chapman.  Garnock secured a lineout on the visitors 22 and impressively marched forward before captain, Matt Shiells went over for his second of the day. Conversion wide 19-7


With time in the half running out Garnock were awarded a penalty 40m out in midfield. The skipper opted to kick for goal and Keir Walker duly obliged taking the half-time score to 22-7


The instruction at half-time from the coaches was more of the same but improve the discipline otherwise a yellow card for persistant infringements was inevitable. Davy Ramsay-Millar who was struggling through illness was replaced at half-time by 18 year old Fraser Craig


The second half was almost entirely Garnock pressure however credit to Stewartry for trying to attack with ball in hand when opportunities arose. The next score came with Garnock on the Stewartry 22 awarded penalty advantage and Keir Walker floated a delicate cross field kick which was fielded by Jared Reekie in between two defenders. The ever dangerous Reekie covered the last 10m to score. Conversion good 29-7


With 20 minutes of the half gone Stewartry had a lineout on their own 5m line and although they secured the ball they were driven back over their line to give Garnock a 5m scrum. The ball was secured and two phases later Matt Shiells completed his hat-trick. Conversion successful 36-7


Unfortunately Garnock had not listened to their coaches at half-time and continued to give away a number of penalties. Stewartry were eventually able to gain some possession in the Garnock 22 and despite secure tackling the home side eventually ran out of defenders allowing the visitors to double their tally 36-14


From the restart Garnock pinned the visitors on their 22 before Stuart Wilson turned the ball over for the umpteenth time. The ball was spread from touchline to touchline and back again before Ross Brocket broke through to score his second. Conv good 43-14


For the remaining couple of minutes Stewartry were seeking their third try and Garnock looking for 50 however in truth neither side threatened to add to the scoring before the referee blew for full time.


This was not Garnock’s finest performance of the season but was never a game they looked in danger of losing. The lads can now enjoy their festive break before regrouping to focus on the remainder of their push for the title


Garnock squad  Shiells, O’Neil, Chapman, Watson, Miller, S Wilson, Ramsay-Millar, Brocket, Walker, McCrorie, Wynn, Anderson, Reekie, Ferreira, Jacobson  Reps C Wilson, McDermott, Craig and Ruxton