Club NewsMatch Reports

Greenock Wanderers 7 – Garnock 41

By September 24, 2023No Comments

Garnock made the short trip to Fort Matilda  seeking to continue their good from in National 4. Their hosts, Greenock Wanderers , were looking to get their campaign moving.The matched was played in pleasant, warm weather with excellent underfoot conditions.


From the early play it was apparent both teams were keen to keep the ball in hand and make the most of the sunny conditions. The big Garnock pack clearly had the upperhand while their backs also looked dangerous.


The first score of the day came from a close range lineout from which Garnock set up a driving maul. Greenock defended well however Jonny Watson was able to break free from the maul and touch down in the corner. Conversion missed 0-5


Not to be outdone Greenock tried to attack when opportunities arose however strong Garnock defence kept them at bay. The next score came from another lineout close to the Greenock line. On this occasion Greenock had the throw in however poor execution allowed Garnock’s 9, Keir Walker, to collect the overthrow and waltz between the posts. Conversion successful 0-12


Good team handling and astute kicking from Gareth McCrorie and Rory Walker kept Garnock in their opponents territory and following an infringement at the breakdown they once again kicked to the corner. Following another driving maul Matt Shiells scored Garnock’s third. Conversion good 0-19


With time in the half running out Greenock were attacking close to the Garnock line. The visitors defended stoutly and were awarded a scrum from which they attempted to find touch. Inexplicably rather than accept a lineout on the 22 the Greenock winger jumped and tapped the ball into play. The loose ball was collected by Jonny Watson who quickly passed to Gareth McCrorie who linked with Rory Walker; the centre then released Jared Reekie . The Garnock 13 then cruised the last 60 metres to score the best try of the half. Conversion unsuccessful 0-24


With the bonus point secured by half-time the Garnock coaches were determined that their charges keep playing with structure and put the match beyond Greenock.


In truth the second half was a little scrappy although for the majority Garnock remained dominant. The next score once again came from pressure in the home 22. A lineout maul was halted by the home side however a short pass allowed centre Rory Walker to cross the line . Conversion missed 0-29


Around the midpoint of the half Garnock scored the best try of the day. With play going nowhere around midfield stand-off Gareth McCrorie made a scything break before a perfectly timed pass to Keir Walker who drew the final defender and unselfishly released the supporting Ross Brocket. The big No8 cantered the last 15 metres to score. Conversion good 0-36


With 10 minutes to go some sloppy defending by the visitors allowed Greenock possession in the attacking 22. Garnock’s defence initally appeared to be coping well however an error around the ruck allowed Greenock to score. Conversion good 7-36


The final passages of play were almost entirely within the Greenock 22. Garnock had a number of close range lineouts from which the pack were determined to add to the score. In the writers view a number of these opportunities should have been released to the backs who had looked dangerous when given possession. Ultimately the pack eventually wore down the home side with Matt Shiells adding his second of the day . Conversion wide 7-41


This was a decent performance from Garnock however the coaches felt slightly frustrated as further points were definitely left on the pitch.


Garnock were dominant in the set piece and were combative in the loose. Flanker Stuart Wilson was a real menace securing a number of turnovers and Garnock’s big ball carriers threatened with ball in hand. Garnock’s backs looked dangerous when provided with possession and solid in defence. A big positive was the return of skipper Lewis McGeachy for the last 20 minutes following a period on the sidelines due to injury.


Next Saturday Garnock make the long trip to face old foes, Stewartry.


Garnock squad  Shiells, Armstrong, L Wynn, Watson, Miller, S Wilson, Ramsay-Millar, Brocket, K Walker, McCrorie, Woods, R Walker, Reekie, S Wynn, Perry   Repl: C Wilson, Ruxton, McGeachy, Craig