Tennent's West One



GREENOCK Wanderers were the visitors to Lochshore on Saturday.

They came as undefeated league leaders but ended as losers to a powerful all-round Garnock display.

Throughout the game the Garnock pack consistently won their own and several of the Greenock put-ins. The lineouts were also controlled by the Garnock eight-some.

The defensive strategy of the home squad was such that Greenock had few chances to get their high-scoring back division to show what they had done in their previous games.

This was a competent display by Garnock and augurs well for the remainder of the season.

The game started with Greenock’s kick off not going 10 metres, resulting in a Garnock scrum at halfway. With the scrum duly won, the forwards led the charge to well inside the Greenock half.

They were rewarded when referee Ellison penalised the Greenock backs for being offside. Keir Walker opened the scoring when he converted the penalty award from the 22 metres line.

It took another Walker penalty awarded for not rolling away from a ruck to increase Garnock’s lead to 6-0 in 16 minutes.

The restart was kicked directly into touch - back to halfway for Garnock’s scrum. The scrum was won and a drive towards the Greenock line illegally halted. Walker quickly ran the ball and was supported by his pack. They drove to the Greenock try line and Matt Shiells touched down in the corner. The conversion was missed. Walker added to his haul of points when he converted a third penalty from 30 metres in 34 minutes.

Greenock were reduced to 14 men when they were penalised for talking back to the referee. Garnock cashed in on their numerical superiority when Lewis McGeachie crashed over to score near the touchline. The conversion was missed.

Kieren Smith scored a consolation penalty award with the last play of the ball to make the score at the interval 19-3.

From the restart Garnock continued as they had in the first half but Greenock came more into the game. They were rewarded when Smith goaled another penalty kick.

Walker converted another penalty from 35 metres to make it 22-6 in 54 minutes.

Greenock then became the dominant force. They forced their way well inside the Garnock half with the help of some fine running by their backs. One such move ended when Brad Cleary rounded off a powerful attack as he scored well out.

Walker added two more penalty kicks. In 69 minutes, Greenock were again caught offside 42 metres out and in centre field to make it 25-11.

He struck again in 72 minutes when a Greenock tackler handled in a ruck while on the ground. Again, the kick from Walker, his sixth was accurate.

The last five minutes was all Greenock’s. They had their best spell, pushing Garnock well inside their own half. They chose to keep the ball tight and only determined tackling and cover by the Garnock squad kept them from scoring.

Victory raises Garnock into fifth in the league and should help springboard them to a higher league position.

Saturday sees Garnock visit Cumnock to play the second promoted side for league points.