BT West One



GARNOCK travelled to Maybole to play Carrick Rugby in a what looked like being a testing league encounter.

They kicked off in dismal but dry conditions overhead but muddy underfoot.

Play swung from end to end for the first few minutes while the sides adapted to the conditions. It was the hosts who opened the scoring when Kyle Johnson converted a penalty from 30 metres after nine minutes. He added a second from roughly the same position five minutes later when Garnock were caught offside. Fourteen minutes had been played and Carrick were 6-0 in front and beginning to dominate.

For the next 15 minutes, play brightened up and Garnock came more into the game. Set scrums were shared, mostly going with the head. Garnock were winning most of the lineouts through Jonny Watson and Rory Dominy but found the home defence hard to break down.

Garnock highlights of this period were powerful drives by Luke Wynn and Matt Shiells and telling bursts by centres Jordan Taggart and Jared Reekie.

Carrick added to their score in 32 minutes when Calum Smith powered over for a try near the corner. The conversion was missed as the score moved on to 11 – 0.

Garnock soon found themselves defending close to their try line and, in possible the best move of the game so far, the Carrick backs carved open the visitors’ defence and gave full back Connor Wylie an easy run in at the posts. Johnson converted and and it was 18-0 after 36 minutes.

The second half began as the first ended with Carrick pressing the Garnock line. They repulsed several concentrated drives by the Carrick forwards but conceded a third try in 48 minutes when the home forwards finally crossed the line for a try. Johnson converted to make it 25-0 in Carrick’s favour.

For the next 15 minutes both sides served up some of the best rugby seen so far. Garnock were still winning most of the lineouts and gaining the upper hand in the set scrums. Chris Neill tried to get his threequarters into attacking positions, the wingers were looking dangerous and play was mainly in the Carrick half.

However, in 65 minutes, Carrick were awarded a penalty. They elected for a quick tap and released left winger Lewis Clark who sped over unopposed to score near the posts. Johnson added the conversion and Carrick were 32-0 ahead.

With time running out, Garnock pressed hard to the Carrick line. Referee Hutton penalised the Carrick defence on several occasions but Garnock failed to capitalise and the game ended.

On Saturday, Oban Lorne are the visitors to Lochshore with a 3pm kick-off and Garnock should be capable of returning to winning ways.