Following a disappointing start to the league campaign Garnock travelled to Maybole to take on Carrick in their second West 1 fixture.
The match kicked off with Garnock playing down the slope and with the slight breeze at their back. The first ten minutes were relatively uneventful and fairly evenly contested. At that time Garnock were awarded a penalty on the Carrick 10m line which they kicked to the corner. The lineout was secured and Garnock set up a driving maul before quickly switching the ball back to the blind-side to the waiting Richard O’Neill who crashed through the defence to score in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed 5-0
Carrick came back in to the game and were keen to use their backs whenever possible. With 20 minutes gone Garnock won the ball in midfield and spread it to the wing releasing the dangerous Jared Reekie who beat his opposite man to score in the corner. The conversion from the touchline was successful . 12-0
This second score spurred Carrick into action and after a period of pressure on the Garnock 22 poor defending from the visitors allowed the home side to score . Conversion missed 12-5. Unfortunately second row Joe Chapman was injured in the build up to the score and was unable to take any further part in the game. He was replaced by Connor Wilson resulting in a reshuffle of the pack.
The home team took confidence from the try and continued to pressure the visitors. A successful penalty attempt in front of the posts reduced the deficit to 12-8
The concession of 8 points re-energised Garnock and the pack began to dominate the close exchanges with Luke Wynn, playing at flanker, to the fore. With 30 minutes gone Garnock scored the try of the half. An initial break by centre Rory Dominy put Garnock into the Carrick half and his pass to centre partner Ross McCann was perfectly timed. The big centre pressed the accelerator and cruised past the last few defenders to score beside the posts. Successful conversion 19-8
In the final play of the first half Garnock were again pressing the Carrick line . Jared Reekie made a break for the line but was tackled just short. Unfortunately he was injured in the tackle and was unable to take the field for the second half. This resulted in a significant change to the Garnock line up with No8 Jonny Watson moving to the wing and the returning Aaron Armstrong joining the pack.
Despite the changes to the line up the second half was dominated by the visitors and Carrick having very few periods of pressure in the Garnock half. Tries were scored at regular intervals .
The first of these was again following a period of pressure in the Carrick 22 when the backs were eventually released and “winger” Jonny Watson scored in the corner. Successful conversion 26-8.
The next try was similar in that Garnock were again pressing the home line when they were awarded a penalty. They elected to take a scrum and stand-off Walker took the ball to the blind side before off loading in the tackle to winger Jayden Smith to score in the corner. Again the difficult conversion was successful 33-8
Unfortunately young winger Smith was injured shortly afterwards and required to be replaced . This brought Grant Ruxton on to the wing. The numerous changes and reshuffles did not deter the Garnock side and they continued to apply pressure following which Jonny Watson scored his second try of the game. The conversion was missed 38-8
The try of the half followed shortly thereafter. Garnock secured the ball in their own half at a ruck close to the right hand touchline. Scrum half Walker noticed the narrow blind side was poorly defended and a short pass to centre Rory Dominy released him up the touchline before he cut inside beating numerous defenders . Dominy reached 5m from the try line before he unselfishly passed back to Keir Walker to score. Conversion successful 45-8
The final few minutes of the game were scoreless and the referee sounded full time with the scoreline Carrick 8 Garnock 45
Next Saturday Garnock host Cambuslang at Lochshore. Cambuslang have had an excellent start to the season and will be keen to continue to their winning ways. This will be an extremely tough game and your support for the lads would be appreciated.