Garnock Rack Up Fifty-Four Against Annan
As reported by Tom Dickson
On a dreich, cold and exceptionally windy Saturday Garnock welcomed Annan Rugby Club to Lochshore on their thirteenth league fixture of season 2021-22. This was the return fixture from earlier in the season when Garnock were slightly lucky to escape from Annan with a 25-15 victory in October last year.
Annan started the game by kicking towards the Kilbirnie end of Lochshore. The ball was punted towards the home 10 metre line for an Annan lineout. Garnock won the ball through Jonny Watson and started to drive into the visitor’s half.
They were rewarded a scrum when the ball was knocked on by Annan hand. The powerful Garnock forwards duly drove their opponents back several metres. Rory Dominy was first to pounce on the loose ball, shrugged off the cover defence and ran unopposed through from 30 metres to score at the posts. Keir Walker narrowly missed the conversion but with 2 minutes Garnock were in front at 5 – 0.
Play swung about around the half way area for the next 10 minutes with neither side dominating. Highlights of this period were the willingness of both sides in trying to play an open style of rugby.
However, in the fourteenth minute Garnock went further ahead when Rory Dominy and Jared Reekie combined to break the Annan line and Reekie scored near the corner. The difficult kick was missed as the score moved to 10 – 0.
At this point Garnock were dominating the set plays both in the scrums and lineouts.
Some scrappy play managed to get Garnock into the Annan half. They won a lineout and good handling by the forwards gained territory and Lewis McGeachy powered through the defenders to score Garnock’s third try. The conversion was good’ and after nineteen minutes play Garnock were ahead at 17 – 0.
This reversal seemed to revive the Annan side and they began to play some good attacking rugby. The Garnock cover tackling during the spell towards halftime seemed able to contain all the threats posed by Annan.
With the home side again the dominant force it was inevitable that further scores were on the way. On the run up to half time Garnock scored a further three tries.
Like Wynn secured the Bonus Point try when the forwards won a set scrum and passed the ball through the running forwards for Luke to barge his way over after 25 minutes.
Joe Chapman was to the fore 5 minutes later to round off another great forwards pick up and charge to score at the posts. The conversion was successful.
Finally on the stroke of half time McGeachy scored his second as he burst through a lineout to score his second try. The conversion was missed in the swirling gale force windy conditions.
The half time was sounded with Garnock leading 32 – 0.
The second half started with the gale force being accompanied by swirling rain but both squads were still attempting to play a running game. Garnock were playing into the wind this half.
They adapted to the conditions but were fortunate in that the rain abated and the wind dropped a little.
The second half saw Garnock’s domination producing tries at regular intervals.
Reekie scored after 43 minutes when he out-paced the cover defence to score. With the wind making a mockery of the ability to kick conversions the score moved on to 37 – 0.
Five minutes later Dominy scored his second after the forwards won a lineout near the Annan 22 metre line. The big back row forward sprinted in to score and push the score 42 – 0.
Annan were still running the ball in their attempt to get on the scoreboard. The were rewarded for their enterprise when they won a loose ball near the half way line. They elected to run and with some slick inter-passing the replacement centre scored at the near the posts to record the score at 42 – 5.
Garnock continued as they had been doing and scored a further two tries before full time.
Reekie scored a typical try when he was fed the ball 40 metres out, spied the gap, sped through and rounded off the move with a try at the posts. Walker converted and Garnock moved to 49 – 5 with 5 minutes remaining.
With time running out Garnock replacement Ewan Perry fielded a kick in the Garnock half. Following a mazy run he drew the final defender before passing to Rory Dominy allowing him to canter through for his third score of the afternoon to complete Garnock’s ten try victory and the final score of 54 – 5.
This was a victory for Garnock which never looked in any doubt from the first minute Tries were scored by backs and forwards emphasising the fact that the squad members know their assets and liabilities and are playing to these strengths.
The Garnock squad on the day was (1 – 19) ; Luke Wynn, Richard O’Neill, Joe Chapman, Lewis McGeachy, Johnny Watson, Rory Dominy, Davy R Miller, Stuart Wilson, Keir Walker, Per Jacobson, Jared Reekie, Rory Walker, Ross Brockett, Tony Woods, Craig Williams, Connor Wilson, Alan Miller, David Miller and Ewan Perry .