Tennent's West One



By Tom Dickson

SATURDAY saw Garnock travel to Maybole to tackle league leaders Carrick in their latest quest for league points.

The South Ayrshire squad had suffered only one defeat all season and were in the final of the District Shield making them strong favourites to emerge as victors today.

Just three minutes had elapsed when Carrick scored the first of their seven tries. Stand-off Kyle Johnson rounded off a slick handling movement by the home threequarters to score a try near the posts. He converted

Garnock rallied and pressed towards the Carrick line. After several thrusts at the home try line they were rewarded when Paul Johnson scored when he darted over from a ruck close to the Carrick line in 12 minutes. The conversion was missed but Garnock were on the scoreboard.

Play swung from end to end but both defences held strong. However, the Carrick pack looked very strong and they increased their lead in the 29th minute when hooker Yan Young burst over for a try. Johnson converted to make the score 14-5.

Again Garnock rallied and had their best spell so far. They were winning the lineout ball through their jumpers in Jonny Watson and Allan Miller. Their set scrummage was more than holding their own and the defence was denying Carrick any easy play.

From the restart, Carrick showed why they are promotion favourites as the set up well inside the Garnock half. The visitors held out until the seventh minute when Stephen Raby finished off a rolling maul to score for Carrick. The conversion was missed.

For the next 15 minutes, Garnock came more into the game. Their forwards seemed to have the measure of their opponents and only some sturdy defending by the home squad prevented them from scoring.

In the last 13 minutes, Carrick scored four tries without conceding any.

In 67 minutes, Michael Kirk scored from a scrummage pick-up to score near the posts. Johnson converted to make it 26- 5 and the Try Bonus Point secured.

Two minutes later Johnson ghosted his way through the Garnock defence and scored between the posts and converted the easy kick for 33-5 and converted the easy kick for a 33-5 lead.

Then in 72 minutes Lewis Clark intercepted a slack Garnock pass and sped 60 metres to score well out. The conversion was good and the score became 40-5.

In the last minute, Carrick were awarded a penalty at the Garnock 10 metre line. They elected to run the ball through their backs and were rewarded for some fine interplay when centre Ewan Alexander rounded off the move for a try. Johnson converted.

Saturday sees Garnock travel to Helensburgh to play the local side in a crucial league match. Kick off is at 2pm.