Club NewsMatch Reports

Garnock Open Up Title Race

By October 22, 2022No Comments

Garnock welcomed unbeaten league leaders Stewartry to Lochshore on Saturday knowing that a victory would bring them closer to the leaders while a defeat would see Stewartry with a significant gap at the top.


The team selected by the coaches saw the return of Jordan Taggart, Ewan Perry and Luke Wynn following unavailability. The pitch was in good condition, if a little wet, following recent rainfall. Fortunately the light rain experienced earlier in the day disappeared for the majority of the game.


This was a game Garnock needed to win and from the kick off it was apparent that they intended to take the visitors on up front before involving the backs.


The majority of the early play was in the Stewartry half however Garnock didn’t manage to threaten the home line for any significant period. It was clear that the home side had the upper hand in the set piece and that Stewartry were going to try and attack with ball in hand whenever possible.


Garnock’s opening try came after 15 mins when after a series of forward charges scrum half Keir Walker lofted the ball over the defensive line. Stewartry appeared to have plenty of cover however centre Rory Dominy rose like a phoenix to claim the ball five yards out and power over. The difficult conversion was missed 5-0


This initial score appeared to spur the home side on and they dominated the next 20 minutes in both territory and possession. Any threats posed by the visitors were quickly snuffed by strong defence particularly from centre Ross McCann.


After 22 minutes Garnock increased their tally when slick handling by the backs released winger Jared Reekie to outstrip his opposite man and score in the corner. Conversion was successful 12-0


Five minutes later Garnock were again applying pressure with every forward keen to carry it to the opposition. Following a number of phases in the 22 the ball was again worked wide to Jared Reekie to score in the corner. Again the conversion was successful


With 10 minutes remaining Stewartry came back into the game when Garnock conceded a number of penalties. Stewartry were keen to try and spread the ball however the wet conditions made this difficult . The stout Garnock defence kept the visitors at bay and in truth the home line was never really threatened. Half-time came with the score Garnock 19 Stewartry 0


The second half was similar to the first with the visitors struggling against the physicality of the Garnock attack and defence. After 10 minutes of the half Jordan Taggart was introduced into the backline and Grant Ruxton replaced Fraser Miller at prop. The changes did not alter Garnock’s game plan and they continued to dominate.


Stewartry began to apply more territorial pressure as a result of kicking deep into the Garnock half. On one such occasion after 20 minutes the visitors set up a number of attacks which were well contained before Garnock were penalised close to the posts. A tap was taken which resulted in Stewartry’s No 8 Hogg evading the first tackler and crossing the line. Conversion was wide 19-5


At this point the home side could have gone into their shell and tried to defend what they had however they were keen to try and secure the four try bonus point. With 7 minutes to go Garnock had again set up camp in the 22 and captain Matt Shiells carried the ball over the gainline before being stopped however he was able to offload to the supporting Luke Wynn who covered the last 5 metres unchallenged. Conversion was successful 26 -5


The final minutes of the game were comfortable for the home side and it was apt that the full time whistle came with Garnock in the Stewartry 22.


This was an excellent performance from the home side and the visitors showed that in better weather conditions their style of play could be more effective

Garnock team Shiells, O’Neill, F Miller, A Miller, L McGeachy, S Wilson, J Watson, L Wynn, K Walker, C Neill, J Reekie, R Dominy, R McCann, T Woods, E Perry   Replacements  C Wilson, A Armstrong, G Ruxton, J Taggart