Garnock travelled to East Kilbride for the penultimate pre-Christmas fixture anticipating a tough contest against the home side. The previous week EK had secured an excellent victory against East 1 side Haddington in the National Shield
The match kicked off in dry overhead conditions however the pitch was particularly heavy due to the rain over the last few weeks. The first few phases of the game set a precedent for what was to follow. Garnock were determined to take the game to EK through strong carries in the forwards before releasing their backs.
The first try was not long in arriving. Secure lineout ball was spread from the pack and a pre-rehearsed move saw centre Ross McCann crash through the home defence to score beside the posts. Conversion was successful 0-7
Garnock’s second try came after 20 minutes. An East Kilbride scrum in their 22 was taken against the head and No8 Luke Wynn picked up from the base, threw an outrageous dummy and cantered over the line. Conversion wide 0-12
Even by this point it was clear that Garnock had control of the set pieces and that the home side were going to have difficulty containing the visitors backs.
The next score arrived when following a period of pressure in the EK 22 the ball was spread wide for winger Jared Reekie to score in the corner. Conversion wide 0-17
Unfortunately influential back row man Stuart Wilson was injured in the build up. He was replaced in the back row by Ross Brocket
The bonus point try followed shortly thereafter. Once again forward pressure in the 22 allowed stand-off Keir Walker to use the backs and centre Rory Dominy cut through the home side to score beside the posts. Conversion successful 0-24
With the first half drawing to a close Garnock scored the best try of the half. The visitors turned over EK ball in their own half and neat handling down the blind side by Jared Reekie , Rory Walker and Keir Walker made ground to the EK 22 and Ross McCann took on the covering defence to score out wide . The difficult conversion was wide bringing the half-time score to 0-29
Garnock made a further enforced change at half-time with Captain, Matt Shiells, having to leave the field. This resulted in a couple of positional changes with Luke Wynn stepping in at prop, Richard O’Neill moving from hooker to blind side and Aaron Armstrong taking his place in the front row
The second half was generally similar to the first with Garnock in control and EK making occasional forays into the Garnock 22. The early stages were scoreless however it was inevitable that Garnock would eventually add to their tally. The first score of the second half came from the ever industrious lock, Lewis McGeachy who took the ball from scrum-half Adam McGowan 10m out and powered up the blindside to score out wide. Conversion successful 0-36
At this point further changes were made with the introduction of wingers Jordan Taggart and Jayden Smith and Ewan Perry switching to full-back.
The next score followed shortly thereafter. A line out on the EK 22 was won by the visitors who spread the ball wide allowing Jayden Smith to score in the corner with his first touch. Unfortunately the young winger was injured while scoring and had to leave the field. Conversion successful 0-43
Ek did apply some pressure to the visitors line however the Garnock pack were able to repel any threats due to their dominance.
The final try was a piece of opportunism by the Garnock No9. EK secured scrum ball in their own 22 however a loose pass into their own in goal area went to ground and Adam McGowan reacted quickest to touch the ball down. Conversion successful 0-50
The final 5 minutes were relatively uneventful and the referee blew for full time with Garnock once gain pressing in the EK 22.
This was a convincing victory by Garnock and in truth was a one-sided game which the visitors never looked in any significant difficulty.
Garnock team Shiells, O’Neill, Miller, Watson, McGeachy, Wilson, Ramsay-Miller, Wynn, McGowan, K Walker, Reekie, Dominy, McCann, Perry, R Walker Bench Armstrong, Brocket, Taggart, Smith
Next week Garnock face Carrick at Lochshore in their final fixture before the Christmas break