Tennent's West One



NEWLY- promoted Strathendrick were the visitors to Lochshore on Saturday.

Last season they were prolific scorers in winning their league but were finding Division One tougher, having won only two of their four games.

Garnock kicked off, showing they wanted to continue playing open rugby. Only stout defending prevented Rory Dominy from opening the scoring in the first minute after he burst through at the Strathendrick 22 line.

The visitors came back and broke out inside their own half and progressed well inside the Garnock half. Their right winger Ruairdh MacLaughlin looked likely to score but Ben Trodden chased and tackled him at the 22-metre line.

In 10 minutes, Strathendrick went ahead when stand-off Sam Greenock kicked a penalty after Garnock were caught offside at a ruck.

This was the wake-up call Garnock needed. When Matt Shiells was stopped after a typical charge of 30 metres, the ball was quickly recycled through the hands of Ewan Perry, Danny Irvine and Jared Reekie who evaded the cover defence to score well out. The conversion was missed but the score showed Garnock 5-3 up after 14 minutes.

Play swung from end-to-end for the next period, with neither side looking like scoring but the level of play was attractive to the spectators.

Garnock were awarded a penalty and kicked for touch near the Strathendrick 22 line. The ball was recycled to Luke Wynn, who swept his way to the try line, brushing away the defenders to score in a similar manner as he did last week. The conversion was missed to put Garnock 10-3 up.

With half-time looming, Strathendrick showed how fluent they could be in attack. With Garnock surging towards the visitors’ goal line, the ball was dropped and gifted to the Strathendrick backs who sped upfield. They inter-passed the ball and centre Craig Mundell dotted down near the touchline. The difficult kick was missed and, with the score tied at 10-10, half-time was called.

Garnock started the second half with a bang, scoring three tries in the first 15 minutes.

The first came when the Garnock pack won a scrum on the Strathendrick 22 line, drove forward and number eight Dominy powered over to score near the posts. Perry converted to make it 17-10 after 42 minutes.

The second came in 45 minutes. Strathendrick were caught offside, Perry cleared to half way and Garnock won the lineout. The ball was fed to the backs and Reekie repeated his magic to score at the posts. Perry converted to push Garnock further ahead with the Try Bonus Point secured.

The third was a carbon copy of the first. Garnock were dominating the set scrums and it was no surprise when, awarded a scrum 35 metres out, they elected to drive forward some 30 metres to give Dominy the chance to peel off and score his second try at the posts. Again, Perry converted.

Play settled down to midfield exchanges but with Garnock in control. Lineouts were going Garnock’s way with Jonny Watson and Lewis McGeachie dominant. The set scrums were also going Garnock’s way.

Reekie completed his hat-trick in 69 minutes when he rounded off a good sweeping Garnock movement to score in the corner. The kick was missed to make it 36-10.

With five minutes remaining Garnock won a lineout on the halfway line. This time the forwards decided that they could pass the ball every bit as good as the backs. They powered forward with the back row, swapping passes to release Shiells and the powerful prop crashed through tackles to score well out. Perry converted.

In the last play, Garnock came up with a great passage of rugby. All the threequarters were involved in a fast piece of fast running rugby. Reekie scored the final try at the posts to give Perry his easiest conversion.

GARNOCK Wynn; Armstrong, Shiells, Watson, McGeachie, Wilson, Miller DR, Dominy, Trodden, Perry, Lee, Irvine, Reekie, Spears, Woods, Gibb, Miller A and Miller J.