Garnock in Narrow Victory
Cambuslang were the visitors to Lochshore last Saturday in a return league match against an undefeated Garnock who welcomed back to the squad Gareth and Paul McCrorie. Utility back, Robbie Nisbet started at full back in place of the unavailable Jamie Macnab. The remainder of the squad was along similar lines to recent weeks.Garnock kicked-off towards the Longbar end and camped inside the visitor’s 22 metre area for the first couple of minutes but could not get the early score. Cambuslang were coming more into the game but were turned back by good Garnock defence. The home side did have a couple of promising attacks through Paul McCrorie and Chris Spears.Their reward came in the 12th minute when Gareth McCrorie scored after some sterling work by the forwards. They won a scrum against the head, worked the ball towards the Cambuslang try line and released the standoff at just the right time to race in for a try. Robbie Nisbet converted to put Garnock 7-0 in the lead.Play continued as before with Garnock camped near the Cambuslang line. Cambuslang centre, Gregor Jones picked up a loose ball on his 22 metre line and burst through poor tackling to run in a 70 metre try at the posts. The kick was good and the scores were level after 16 minutes. The same player punished Garnock again two minutes later from the half way line and scored his second try at the posts. Again the conversion was successful and Cambuslang moved ahead 7-14.This reversal spurred Garnock on, and they started to dominate lineouts and gain parity in scrums, allowing their backs to be seen in a more attacking role. There were some good handling movements set up, only to be halted by stout Cambuslang defence. Play did deteriorate close to half time but, just before the referee called a halt, he penalised a Cambuslang back for being offside. Nisbet converted to bring in half time with the score at Garnock 10 Cambuslang 14.From the restart Cambuslang struck. They won the ball from a ruck and Rawlings showed a deft handling touch to score their third try well out. The conversion was missed but after 1 minute of the second half Garnock were 10-19 in arrears. Again they rallied and started to play the better rugby. When Cambuslang were penalised at a scrum Robbie Nisbet elected to kick for touch, reaching the visitor’s 22 metre line. The ball was duly won and transferred through the backs. A poor pass forced a kick through and Chris Spears was fastest to the touchdown. Robbie Nisbet brought out the conversion and Garnock were back in contention at 17-19 after 52 minutes play.Cambuslang were again forced back into their half, and then from a penalty, back to their 5 metre line for a lineout. Again the forwards won the ball and drove to the line. The ball was smuggled back to Alan Brocket and the veteran forward burst through from all of two metres to score after 57 minutes. Robbie Nisbet converted and Garnock were again in front at 24-19.Play ebbed and flowed for several minutes but mostly near half way. From a loose melee on the Cambuslang 22 metre line, Danny Irvine somehow burst out and powered his way over the try line between the posts for the Bonus Point try. Robbie Nisbet converted and Garnock moved 31-19 ahead after 78 minutes of the game. Play actually picked up from this point with Cambuslang becoming the dominant side. The Garnock defence involving both backs and forwards seemed to have their measure.In the last minute of play Cambuslang’s best move of the half saw their backs showing what they were capable of as they scored a converted try to make it 31-26. The remainder of the game was played out with Garnock defending a robust Cambuslang side who were seeking a victory. However, the game ended with the undefeated record intact.This was the third game between the two sides this season, and all have been closely fought affairs with Garnock doing enough to record victories.Saturday 7th December sees Garnock on Shield duty against Helensburgh at Lochshore with a 1.30p.m. kickoff, the game being played to a conclusion.