Club NewsMatch Reports

West 1 Title Secured

By March 27, 2023No Comments

On Saturday Garnock took on East Kilbride at home in the knowledge that a win of any kind would secure them the West 1 League title


With a National Shield semi-final next week and little to play for in the league  East Kilbride could have taken the opportunity to rest the majority of their first team regulars and turn up with a significantly weakened team however full credit to them as that was not the case.


The pitch was wet underfoot following the heavy rain during the week but otherwise in good condition. The match kicked off in front of a huge home support with Garnock playing toward the Hub. From the early exchanges it was clear that East Kilbride had not turned up to simply make up the numbers and if there was a chance to spoil the party they were going to take it.


The early exchanges were relatively even with the home side looking nervous and not playing their usual measured game. A number of opportunities were squandered primarily as a result of basic errors. However with 20 minutes gone Garnock were in the visitors 22 and decided to release the ball to the backs. Smart handling allowed an overlap to be created and winger Jared Reekie went over in the corner. Conversion wide 5-0


This seemed to settle the home side a little however good kicking from hand by the visitors 10 and 15 pinned Garnock back on a number of occasions. Five minutes after the first score Garnock were awarded a penalty within range of the posts and elected to kick for goal. Keir Walker was successful 8-0


For the next 10 minutes East Kilbride had the better of the game and due to a number of infringements by the home side the visitors were able to kick two penalties to bring the score to 8-6.


Keen to get back on top Garnock redoubled their efforts and again built pressure in the EK half. Once again when the ball was released to the dangerous Garnock backs slick handling from centres Rory Dominy and Ross McCann released full-back Rory Walker to score. Conversion successful 15-6 at half-time


The tight scoreline was not allowing the home support to relax and an improved performance in the second half was required.


With East Kilbride now playing up the slight slope it was not going to be as easy for them to kick for territory as it was in the first half. In truth the second half was all Garnock and only outstanding defence from East Kilbride combined with occasional white line fever from Garnock prevented any additional tries being scored. The strong Garnock pack controlled the set pieces preventing the EK backs having any real opportunities to handle


Keir Walker added two further penalties for the home side and when the referee blew for full time the scoreline was 21-6


Although this was not Garnock’s slickest performance of the season all that mattered to the home side was securing the win and this was achieved .


The win for Garnock gave them the points required to secure the West 1 league title with a game to spare. The title this season is down to the hard work and commitment by the entire squad and the coaches. A total of 31 players have taken to the field for Garnock 1st XV this season and each and every one of them has contributed to the success


Garnock’s final league fixture takes place on Saturday 8th April away against Kilmarnock.


Squad v East Kilbride  Shiells, O’Neill, Miller, Watson, McGeachy, Wilson, Ramsay-Miller, Wynn, McGowan, K Walker, Reekie, Dominy, McCann, Woods, R Walker Replacements Armstrong, Brocket, Neill, Smith