BT West One
NEWTON STEWART 29
GARNOCK hosted Newton Stewart last Saturday at Lochshore in a bid to reverse a humbling defeat at the hands of the Borderers sustained last September.
The hosts kicked off towards the whisky maturation plant and were soon forced back on the defensive mode when the visiting stand off punted the ball back to the Garnock 22 metre line. The line out was lost but a knock on gave the visitors a scrum on the 22 metre line.
When the threequarters were caught offside Jamie Muir had no problem slotting over the kick. Two minutes played and Garnock were 3-0 down.
For the rest of the half play swung from end to end, with both sides playing some attractive rugby but interspersed with passages of very poor ball retention.
The scoreboard remained stationary and was not brought into action until 35 minutes when Garnock stand off, Rory Walker was successful with a penalty from the Newton Stewart 22 line.
With five minutes of the half remaining the scores were level at 3-3.
In 36 minutes, Fraser Morton rounded off the best move of the game so far to score a try near the posts. Muir converted to make it 10-3.
Worse was to befall Garnock when Thomas MacDonald was in the right place to end a Newton Stewart drive and score at the posts. Again Muir converted and Garnock went in at half time somewhat unluckily 17-3 down.
The second half started as the first ended with Newton Stewart in the ascendency and it was no surprise they scored a third try in 51 minutes when winger Morton powered his way through several poor tackles to score half way out. Muir was again successful with his conversion to make the score 24-3.
This seemed to spur on the Garnock players and they started to dominate the set scrums with their power plays. Their threequarters also found that their powerful running was beginning to trouble their opponents. For a period of ten minutes Garnock did not look like a side in the relegation zone and in 62 minutes they were rewarded when Matt Shiells scored a try when he touched down after a Garnock scrum win from five metres out. Walker converted to make it 24-10.
Newton Stewart started to open out their game a bit more and began to look the more dangerous side. This enterprise was rewarded in the 68th minute when David Sommerville ran in their fourth and Bonus Point try. The conversion was missed but NS were ahead 3 – 29.
The remaining play was a case of Garnock defending constant Newton Stewart attacking.
The Garnock defence was at times stretched but there was always another defender able to snuff out the Newton Stewart
attacks. The game finished with Garnock running the last play of the game in trying to increase their points tally but a loose pass allowed the visitors to kick into touch for No Side.
This was a better performance from Garnock compared to recent weeks and especially the defeat by Newton Stewart in September.
On Saturday, Garnock host Oban Lorne at Lochshore with a 2pm kick-off.