Club NewsMatch Reports

Garnock Thwarted By Last Minute Try

By March 3, 2024No Comments

On Saturday Garnock travelled to Forfar to face fellow National 4 title challengers, Strathmore, who are undefeated at home this season.


On a pleasant early spring day the matched was watched by a large crowd with plenty supporters from each club. The large Garnock support significantly contributed to the atmosphere with the club organising a supporters bus.


The match kicked off with Garnock getting the better of the early exchanges through their hard carrying forwards with Matt Shiells, Ross Brocket and Joe Chapman to the fore. Strathmore struggled to get a foothold in the game and conceded a number of penalties at the breakdown. With 8 minutes gone Keir Walker converted from one such penalty and repeated the dose 3 minutes later to make the score 0-6 after 11 minutes.


With 18 minutes on the clock Garnock were awarded a penalty just inside the Strathmore half. The ball was kicked to touch on the home 22. From the resulting lineout Garnock set up a strong driving maul taking play well into the 22 before a perfectly timed release to scrum-half Keir Walker allowed the 9 to scamper up the blind side to score. Conversion good 0-13


This reverse seemed to galvanise the home effort and it was Garnock’s turn to incur the wrath of the referee allowing Strathmore to kick a penalty into the visitors 22. From the lineout the home side attacked the line with a number of close quarter drives which were initially repelled with strong defence. After a number of minutes defending Garnock eventually ran out of defenders allowing Strathmore to score out wide. Conversion good 7-13


From the restart Strathmore collected the ball and following two quick phases spotted an overlap up the blind releasing their left winger who made significant ground before passing back inside to the supporting scrum-half who scampered over. Conversion successful 14-13


As the half was drawing to a close Garnock gain worked their way upfield following a scything run by centre, Rory Dominy before Strathmore once again infringed at the breakdown. The penalty was successfully kicked for goal bringing the score to 14-16, which it remained at half-time


The first half had been fairly even with both sides having period of dominance and the scoreline was a fair reflection.


The next score came after 10 minutes of the second half when Garnock were attacking on the home 22. The ball was spread to the backs and centre Rory Dominy was halted by a “no arms” tackle. Garnock kicked for goal taking the score to 14-19


From the restart Garnock failed to secure the ball inviting the home side to attack their 22. Strong defence kept the line intact before skipper Matt Shiells secured a penalty at a breakdown and the ball was cleared to half-way. The lineout was overthrown and Strathmore 9 volleyed the ball upfield. The kick was not cleanly collected allowing Strathmore  to regain possession. Following a number of phases they released their backs to score out wide. Conversion missed 19-19


The next ten minutes were relatively even with neither side creating clear scoring chances due to strong defences. With 15 minutes remaining Garnock had possession in the home half when once again Strathmore infringed at the breakdown. From 40m Garnock elected to kick for goal which was slotted by Keir Walker 19-22


The next score came when Garnock had worked their way up to the 22 and were awarded a penalty for a further breakdown infringement. Penalty kicked 19-25


Time was now running out and Strathmore showed their determination not to lose their excellent home record. Unfortunately the visitors were reduced to 14 as a result of a high tackle in the backs.  Strathmore set up camp in the Garnock 22 and assaulted the line from close range lineouts and tap penalties. The visitors defended with determination and from a short range drive the Strathmore hooker was held up over the line giving Garnock a try-line drop out. The drop was collected by the Strathmore No8 who set off toward the visitors line with vigour and following a couple of phases Strathmore released the ball wide and despite valiant defence they scored out wide. The conversion was good and the home side were ahead 26-25 with one minute remaining.


The restart was collected by Strathmore and they calmly saw out the remaining seconds to end the game victors


The game was evenly contested throughout with no quarter asked or given. The contest was extremely physical and there will, no doubt, be a number of sore bodies in the morning. This match was a great spectacle for the supporters and a fantastic advert for National 4 rugby . Both teams should be commended for their efforts.


Garnock’s next fixture is a National Cup game at home against National 2 side Kirkcaldy on 9th March before they return to league action on 23rd March at home v Greenock Wanderers.


Garnock squad Shiells, O’Neill, Chapman, Watson, A Miller, S Wilson, Ramsay-Millar, Brocket, K Walker, R Walker, Anderson, Dominy, Reekie, Woods, Jacobson  Reps  McDermott, Craig, D Miller, C Wilson