Garnock in Bonus Win
Garnock’s game with Strathendrick was transferred from Fintry to Balfron when the home club’s pitch was declared unplayable. The game saw the league leaders take another step towards gaining promotion.The game started in pleasant conditions overhead with Garnock kicking off on the small pitch. The valley side set out their stall early on by winning the first scrum against the head and forced play deep into the home 22 metre area. After 5 minutes of pressure they won a lineout through Johnny Watson. The ball was fed to scrum half Paul Johnson. He passed on to Rory Walker who brought the two centres into play before looping round them to complete the move by scoring well out. The conversion was successful and Garnock moved into a 7 – 0 lead.Three minutes later Garnock were penalised for a deliberate knock on and Strathendrick kicked to make it 3 – 7 after 8 minutes.Play then settled with Garnock the more dominant side. They showed their willingness to run the ball at every occasion but the Strathendrick defence was sound.With 20 minutes on the clock Garnock increased their lead when Danny Irvine powered his way over the try line from 25 metres out to make it 3 – 12. The conversion was missed.Despite some good running from the Garnock backs and good lineout possession the score remained at 3 – 12 until half time mainly due to the Strathendrick tackling. The half ended with Garnock camped near the home line.It took only 4 minutes of the second period for Garnock to add to their score. The forwards won a lineout 22 metres out and elected to drive to the line. The drove as a pack and Graeme Reid was in the right position to round off the move with a try. The kick at goal was missed and Garnock were in front 3 – 17 after 44 minutes. They increased their lead ten minutes later when the forwards set up a good position well inside the Strathendrick half. Luke Wynn made the initial thrust and brought Walker into the move. The stand off made some yards and passed to Watson who had the strength to burst through for a try and the Bonus Point secured. Again the conversion was missed and the score became 3 – 22 for the visitors.The next ten minutes saw Strathendrick come more into the game with some powerful play to take them inside the Garnock half. For this period the Garnock defence held out due to some determined tackling and relieving kicks by Walker.They finally moved into the home half when Jordan Taggart fielded a loose Strathendrick pass near his own try line and sprinted some 80 metres in a mazy run to relieve the pressure on Garnock. He fed the ball to the supporting Walker who found Ally Anderson in close support. Anderson in turn made ground and returned the ball to Walker who strolled through for a great try. He converted to make it 3 – 29 after 66 minutes.With 5 minutes of the game left, Garnock won a scrum against the put-in. Reid picked up from the base and made several telling yards. He fed to Taggart. The speedy winger beat several opponents to score a fine individual try. The conversion was missed and the score was 3 – 34 to Garnock.In the last move of the game and with Garnock close to the Strathendrick line, the ball was shipped to Robbie Nisbet, now playing at stand off. He spied a gap and shrugging aside tacklers burst over for a well worked try. He completed the scoring by converting his try.The referee then blew for no side and Garnock were victors by 41 points to 3.This was another victory for Garnock as a team with the entire squad contributing. By securing a Bonus Point they remain in first position in the battle for the league title and promotion.Strathendrick were a stuffy squad for parts of the game but could not match Garnock’s all-round performance and fitness.Garnock’s next game is on March 15th when they travel to Strathaven to take on the bottom placed local side in their return fixture.