Club NewsMatch Reports

Garnock Take The Points

By February 20, 2023No Comments

On Saturday Garnock welcomed old friends Annan to Lochshore as they continued their West 1 campaign. Having defeated Stewartry in their previous fixture Garnock were keen not to slip up . Over the last couple of seasons Annan have been a bit of an enigma. They have a number of players of real quality but appear to struggle to put together a consistent run of  performances. On their day Annan are a real test for anybody in West 1 and this is evidenced by their impressive win over Cumnock in their previous fixture.


The match kicked off with soft underfoot conditions and overhead rain. It was evident from the early stages that Garnock were going to attack through both the backs and the forwards however Annan made it clear they were not just there to make up the numbers.


After 10 minutes Garnock were attacking in the Annan 22 . Following a number of forward drives the ball was spread to the backs and stand-off Keir Walker side-stepped his opposite number to dart through between the posts. Conversion successful 7-0


For the next 15 minutes the play was relatively even with defences on top.  Garnock were eventually able to work their way down field and some strong carries by the forwards saw Lewis McGeachy crash over. Conversion wide 12-0


The wet conditions were making handling difficult and both sides reverted to trying to gain ground by kicking more often than they normally would. On one such occasion a speculative Garnock kick was misjudged by the visitors full back allowing home centre Rory Dominy to collect the ball and canter the final 20m to the line. Conversion successful. 19-0


With 30 minutes gone the big Garnock pack was beginning to take control and the visitors were struggling to cope with the strong carries of captain Matthew Shiells, Lewis McGeachy and Luke Wynn in particular. The next score was again to Garnock when pressure was built in the visitors 22 and the ball was released to the backs. Sharp handling between Keir Walker and Rory Dominy allowed the latter to off-load to second row Lewis McGeachy to score his second of the game. Conversion successful 26-0


As time in the first half was running out Annan were at last able to build some phases within the Garnock 22. The home side were initially able to repel the attacks however they eventually ran out of defenders allowing the Annan hooker to score wide out. Conversion wide 26-5


The second half started with a slight improvement in the overhead conditions however unfortunately for the visitors  this only allowed Garnock to use their strong running backs more often. Centres Rory Dominy and Ross McCann carried hard all day and consistently made ground.


The first score of the second half came shortly after the restart when Garnock were once again in the Annan 22. A number of forward carries resulted in prop come No8 Luke Wynn smashing over beside the posts. Conversion successful 33-5.


Although Garnock enjoyed the majority of possession Annan continued to try and attack when they had the ball. Unfortunately for the visitors the home side wing forward duo of Stuart Wilson and Davy Ramsay-Miller made tackle after tackle preventing Annan from making any real progress. When they reverted to trying to gain territory via the boot full-back Chris Neill was always in the right place and able to either return the ball or set up another Garnock attack.


By this stage Garnock were dominant in the scrums and Jonny Watson and Alan Miller were ruling the lineouts. Hooker Aaron Armstrong was accurate with his lineout arrows and strong in his defence. Young scrum-half Adam McGowan was showing his quality by sniping when appropriate and providing the backs with quality possession.


The next score came after 15 minutes when following good handling in the backs Tony Woods was released to scamper the final 20 metres to score wide out. Conversion wide 38-5.


At this point the Garnock coaches emptied the bench introducing Connor Wilson at hooker, Fraser Miller at prop, David Miller in the second-row and young and ever improving winger Jaden Smith.  The changes seemed to provide energy and all three fresh forwards carried strongly and defended with enthusiasm. With his first carry hooker Connor Wilson sat down his opposite number and on his second he crashed over for a score . Conversion successful 45-5


With the game reaching the closing stages the question was whether or not Garnock could add to the score line. Winger Jared Reekie was roving around the pitch creating havoc whenever he got his hands on the ball . One one such occasion he collected a wayward kick and made ground before being halted. The ball was then spread wide with Tony Woods (now at full back) perfectly timing a pass to release Jaden Smith the score in the corner. Touchline conversion successful. 52-5


The final whistle blew shortly thereafter with no further addition to the scoreline. To be fair to the visitors this is a better Annan side than the score may suggest and they worked hard and tried to play attacking rugby whenever in possession.


Next Saturday Garnock face Carrick at Lochshore


Garnock squad v Annan :- Shiells, Armstrong, A Miller, McGeachy, Watson, S Wilson, Ramsay-Miller, Wynn, McGowan, Reekie, Dominy, McCann, Woods, Neill  Replacements C Wilson, F Miller, D Miller, Smith