Tough day at the office
Cumnock Stormers made the trip to North Ayrshire to play their final league match with a greatly depleted squad. Due to injuries and unavailability in both the 1sts and 2nds, only 10 players were able to travel. Several Garnock players were kind enough to cross over and wear a Cumnock jersey for the day and this made the game a better contest.
The game kicked off in brilliant sunshine and both sides made their intentions clear from the start that running rugby was to be the order of the day. With the Garnock players being more familiar with each other's play it was no surprise that they made the early breakthrough as they ran in 4 tries in the first 20 minutes of the game despite some heroic tackling by the visitors. It would have been easy for the Cumnock heads to go down, but to everybody's credit they stuck at it and began to make inroads into the Garnock defence, but to no avail. Ross Anderson showed on his senior debut that he has tremendous potential with some sniping runs, backed up by Jayson McMillan. Half time arrived with the hosts leading 34-0.
The second half started with the visitors bolstered by a couple of extra Garnock players donning a Cumnock jersey. The game swung from end to end with Greg Hamilton and Johnny Seng on the wings getting chances to take their opponents and centres Kenny Barr and Stephen Taylor making good yards. Gavin Hannah, Martin Wallace and Andrew Watt were putting in some big hits and stole the ball in the tackle several times. Cumnock scored their first try when the guest prop took a short pass from a ruck and drove over for an unconverted try. Cumnock continued to press and were rewarded with their second try as another of the guest players carved his way through the home defence. Ross Anderson thought that he was through for his first try in the senior ranks after some neat offloads by the forwards, but was called back by the referee for a penalty to Cumnock. Garnock replied with 2 tries of their own to extend their lead, but the visitors were to score the final try of the game as Jayson McMillan drove over the line. The whistle blew soon after for full time with the home side victorious by 48-15. This was a game played in the right spirit between two sides who wanted to play good rugby.
The man of the match award was given to the whole squad for their all round performance. Special thanks must go to the Garnock players who played for Cumnock on the day.