For the first time in a number of seasons Garnock visited Ardrossan for a competitive fixture. The visitors were keen to continue their recent run of good results
There were a number of changes to the squad after last weeks win against Kilmarnock with Woods, Perry, Waterston and Wynn all being unavailable due to injury, work or other commitments however the squad was bolstered by the return of Wilson (S), McCann, Goldie and Miller (D)
The match started in dry overhead conditions however there was a strong wind blowing directly across the pitch which continued for the entire game. Ardrossan kicked off and Garnock’s strong pack immediately began to challenge the home side. For the first ten minutes the Ardrossan defence held firm however following a line out close to the line Garnock set up a number of drives which ultimately saw centre , Ross McCann, breach the line. The difficult conversion was successful 0-7
Ardrossan began to come back into the game and indiscipline at the breakdown from the visitors resulted in the home side being awarded a number of penalties. Ardrossan did manage to exert some pressure in the Garnock 22 however with Garnock having dominance in both the lineout and scrum the home side found it difficult to sustain any pressure
With 20 minutes gone a penalty around halfway allowed Keir Walker to kick to touch some 10 metres out. The ball was secured from the lineout and given to the backs . A planned move appeared to break down however McCann rescued the situation and broke through the defensive line for his second try of the day. Successful conversion 0-14
The game continued in similar fashion with Garnock having the upper hand but conceding too many penalties which allowed Ardrossan to make ground.
After 35 minutes Garnock were once again in the Ardrossan 22 and applying pressure. After a number of charges from the pack the ball found the hands of McGeachy and the big lock powered through the defence from 15 metres to score. Successful conversion 0-21
The remainder of the half was relatively uneventful with no further scores.
From the second half kick off it was apparent that Ardrossan were not going to lie down and were determined to get back into the game. After a period of good play they secured an overlap down the left and despite good covering defence from Garnock the ball was slipped back inside to stand off Hunter to score. Conversion missed 5-21
The score seemed to galvanise the visitors and the remainder of the half was pretty much one way traffic with Garnock doing the attacking and Ardrossan defending stoutly.
The bonus point try was secured when following a number of phases in the Ardrossan 22 scrum half Walker spied a gap and darted over. Conversion successful 5-28
Garnock’s next score was probably the best of the game. Garnock secured turnover possession around their own 22 and Stuart Wilson made ground, as he did all day, before slipping the ball to McCann who again made ground and passed to “winger” O’Neill who broke through the Ardrossan ranks and rounded the full back making 55m before being tap-tackled 5m from the line. The ball was recycled and spread wide for captain Shiells to score. Conversion successful 5-35
After 70 minutes Garnock were once again attacking in the final third . Regular possession from the pack allowed the backs to be released and winger Reekie dotted down in the corner for Garnock’s sixth of the day. Conversion missed 5-40
With time running out Garnock continued to attack and once such movement saw replacement winger Ryan Stewart being tackled into touch just short of the line when seeking his first points for the club
The referee blew for full time shortly thereafter. This was a good performance from Garnock in difficult windy conditions however one significant negative was what appeared to be a serious knee injury to Joe Chapman.
Garnock squad ; Shiells, Wilson (C), Miller (F), Chapman, McGeachy, Miller (A), Watson, Wilson (S), Walker, Neill, Reekie, Dominy, McCann, O’Neill, Goldie Finishers; Armstrong, Miller (D), Wright, Stewart
Next Saturday we welcome unbeaten league leaders Stewartry to Lochshore