Match Report v Garnock 31/11/15
Killie win Local Derby
Kilmarnock hosted local rivals Garnock in their RBS West Regional League Division 1 match and recorded their first win of the season 25 points to 10.
The home crowd was swollen by a number of agricultural guests attending a hospitality lunch on Rugby World Cup final Day preceded by the Killie match.
The ground was wet underfoot and the sun broke through as referee Brian McHenry started the match.
Kilmarnock fielded a full strength side but it was Garnock who controlled possession in the opening ten minutes with Kilmarnock defending stoutly. The home side gained some momentum and after fourteen minutes Garnock were penalised for offside and stand-off Scott Brown converted an 18 meter penalty kick to give Kilmarnock a 3-0 lead. Ten minutes later after some scrappy play Garnock levelled the score with a penalty from number 10 Rory Walker. 3-3.
The restart was taken by Garnock and a turnover gave Kilmarnock possession, a poor pass gave Garnock the ball but a knock on led to a Killie scrum in the Garnock half. The scrum was won and an orthodox move saw the ball shipped out the backline, full back Ally McWhirter joined the line and his inside pass was given to speeding winger Andy Ferguson who raced in from 22 meters to score close to the posts.
Scott Brown converted giving Kilmarnock a 10-3 lead after half an hour.
Kilmarnock maintained control of their own ball winning both lineout and scrum ball and narrowly missing a penalty attempt. A penalty to Garnock saw them kick into the Kilmarnock half and the front lineout characteristic catch and drive saw Garnock surge towards the Killie line and a forward pushover try was scored. The touchline conversion was made and the scores were level as the referee blew for half time.
Coach Andy Lees had positive words to say at the interval and the second half saw Kieran Grant substitute for second row Niall Murphy. Kilmarnock stole the ball at the restart and mounted a number of attacks. Garnock soaked up the pressure but soon countered with a spell of possession and missed a close range penalty after ten minutes. Kilmarnock were reduced to 14 men when number 8 Ross Murray was sin binned for alleged foul play. Garnock upped their game but the Kilmarnock defense held the visitors at bay.
The ever enthusiastic Dave McLeod came on at prop for Jamie Cuthbertson and Ross Murray returned to the fray but was soon replaced by Paddy Tevenan who played at blindside wing forward. The Garnock spell of pressure was quelled and Kilmarnock roared back with a classic backline move, 9-10-12-13 Ally McWhirter once again with a pass this time to left winger Stewart Kerr who collected and scored mid way through the half. Scott Brown obliged with the conversion 17-10 to the home side.
Kilmarnock tails were up and the home side were more confident in their play. Sam Diamond made some telling breaks and John Brown continued to cream the lineout ball. Youngster Stewart McEwan was replaced by Jamie Cuthbertson and Kilmarnock stretched their lead after a miss then a penalty conversion by Scott Brown to give Kilmarnock a 20-10 lead with ten minutes remaining.
Garnock replaced their stand-off as Kilmarnock searched for another try. Open side wing forward Sam Diamond crashed through for a try but was penalised for a double movement in the process. From the drop out 22 Kilmarnock knocked on to give Garnock a scrum followed by a free kick. The tap and go was made as Garnock attacked the Kilmarnock blind side. Greg Andrews made a turnover and emerged from the maul with the ball on the halfway line, he raced goal wards in a straight line leaving his own and the opposition players in his wake to score a well deserved try to thunderous applause.
The conversion was missed and the referee blew for no side. Kilmarnock the victors 25-10.
Coach Andy Lees stated to his charges that it was a much better feeling having just won the game and Captain Scott Brown reminded the players that the team had more to give with a little more hard work to polish the edges.