On Saturday 30th April Garnock travelled to Cambuslang for their penultimate league fixture. With Cambuslang desperate to take something from the game to secure their survival in West 1 this was sure to be a tough fixture
The match started with Garnock playing away from the clubhouse and into a slight breeze. It was clear from the early exchanges that Garnock had the dominant pack and we going to have the upper hand in the set pieces. After 5 minutes Garnock had a scrum 5m from the Cambuslang line and No8 Ross Brocket picked from the base and broke the defensive line to score. The conversion was missed (5-0)
The score seemed to galvanise the home team and a short while later they handed Garnock some of their own medicine by scoring from a lineout drive. Conversion good (5-7)
From the kick off Garnock again worked their way upfield through the pack eventually securing a 5m scrum. The home side expected another scrum drive however the ball was quickly passed to Tony Woods on the blind side wing to finish in the corner. Conversion missed (10-7)
The second Garnock try did not dampen Cambuslang spirits and they attacked through their backs whenever possible. With possession just outside the Garnock 22 the home stand-off put through a clever kick and their outside centre won the race to touch the ball down. The conversion was again successful and Cambuslang were ahead (10-14)
With time running out in the first half Garnock secured possession inside their own half and a pinpoint kick from stand-off Rory Walker resulted in a 50/22 giving Garnock a lineout 10m out. The ball was secured and the forwards drove toward the line. Scrum-half , Keir Walker, joined the back of the maul and was able to touch down in the corner. Conversion missed however Garnock took the half-time lead 15-14
Cambuslang had performed well in the first half and well deserved to be within touching distance of the visitors. However the strong Garnock pack had dominated the set piece , in particular the scrum, and the question was could the home side to continue their stubborn defence or would they tire
In truth the second half was almost entirely Garnock dominated. The big pack won the majority of ball at the set piece regularly driving the Cambuslang scrum backwards to either secure the ball or be awarded a penalty by the referee.
Ten minutes into the half Cambuslang were under extreme pressure in their own 22 and a loose ball was gathered by centre Jared Reekie to score between the posts. Conversion good (22-14)
A short while later Garnock were again camped in the home 22 . The forwards secured a 5m lineout and No8 Ross Brocket powered over. Conversion missed (27-14)
As we approached the midpoint of the half and smart backline move saw Garnock breach the home backs however the scramble defence was good to stop Garnock just short of the line . From the resultant ruck Keir Walker was able to sneak over . Conversion good (34-14)
At this point as a result of injuries in the home side front row the scrums went uncontested. This removed Garnock’s total dominance in this area and gave the home side some possession for their backs to use.
Notwithstanding the change in the set piece position Garnock continued to enjoy most of the ball and with 10 minutes remaining they were awarded a penalty 10m out. Rather than kick to touch the ball was passed to a rampaging Lewis McGeachy who made it to one metre from the line before being stopped. Keir Walker picked from the ruck and dived over. Conversion was good (41-14)
For the next five minutes Garnock went to sleep and with ball available to the home team from the uncontested scrums they scored two quick tries neither of which were converted (41-24)
With time almost up Garnock re-focused and smart handling in the backs around half way resulted in Jared Reekie breaking down the right touchline to score in the corner. The conversion was missed bringing the final score to 46-24 to the visitors.
This was a match in which Garnock played well for spells and switched off for periods. Cambuslang secured the try bonus point they were looking for and with Strathendrick gaining no points in their fixture Cambuslang’s position in West 1 for next season was safe
Garnocks final fixture of the season is on Saturday 14th May at home v Stewartry
Garnock squad Shiells, Wilson, Wynn, McGeachy, Miller, Watson, Ramsay-Miller, Brocket, K Walker, R Walker, Williams, Dominy, Reekie, Woods and Jacobson. Replacements O’Neil, F Miller, Ruxton, Smith