Your Deputy Scribe writes:
No rain? No howling gale? No water-sodden pitch? My goodness, were we really at Lochshore earlier today to witness Accies final away game of the season?
Well, even if the weather conditions did seem all a bit surreal to those members of the “Accies Loyal, Lodge No. 666” who’d tramped down the A737 for today’s game, it was “short-sleeve order”, factor 40 all-round and the prospect of a truly entertaining contest on a pitch that was a credit to the Garnock committee!
And we weren’t to be disappointed! More tries to enjoy than happened at Murrayfield, yellow cards flourished by a ref who seemed to be playing a version of the game neither our lot or even the Garnockians could quite understand, off-the-ball nonsense between players, albeit without any real malice – apart from one quite blatant punch to Bryden Jnr’s coupon (he just smiled back at his assailant) – and a raucous cacophany of ill-informed comment from both sets of supporters throughout the full 90 minutes (yes, 90) played by the ref kept us all amused. Oh, it was all quite glorious, end-of-season stuff!!
The long and the short of it was this: Garnock dominated the opening exchanges, but couldn’t score. We trundled up the park, got a penalty and Mikey used his imagination (yes, I know, quite surprising that an accountant should use “imagination”), took a quick tap and rumbled up a full 5m before off-loading to Kieran, who promptly delivered our first from 10m with half of Garnock hanging off his shorts.
We continued to dominate the rest of the half if truth be told and Bryden Jnr., in his own inimitable style, battered his way through the Garnock defence on a quite superb line at the start of the second quarter to secure our second. Credit all-round to Rhodesey for delivering the deft pass that enabled him to do this, and for subsequently nailing his second conversion of the afternoon.
Kris (Mathie, Mathie Mathie) followed in for our third with a great try after some extremely fancy footwork, preceded by a deft chip from Ross over the heads of the advancing D. And so at half-time, and a penalty from Garnock notwithstanding, we seemed to be pretty much in control of things.
But rugby’s a game of two half’s, is not my friends? And though kick-off for the second period of what turned out to be (inexplicably) 50 minutes of play was delayed by the fountain of claret spouting from Mikey’s forehead, we seemed to be in good heart. However, Garnock seemed to have other ideas!
Their forwards battered and pounded us, taking every opportunity to rumble up towards our line. The D held firm, at least for a while, but a dubious penalty against us gave the ever lively Garnock 9 the chance to take a quick tap and scamper over before we knew what had hit us. Garnock followed with a second shortly after – this scribe isn’t quite sure how – and all of a sudden, we were in a “game”.
The boys manned up thereafter however, strapped on their “Big-Boy-Pants” and after some huffing and puffing by the forwards, we marched up the field.
Great work saw us get into their 22, but then some daft stuff saw us loose the ball to a turnover which allowed Garnock to clear. But only so far as Ross. And off he then went on one of his runs, and he duly touched down having run half the pitch in his quite lugubrious fashion, leaving a series of flaying defenders in his wake. Classic Cowan!!
Greg added the next with a midfield break all of his own making after the front 8 had made 20m or so – and oh, it fair gladdened the heart of those on the touchline to see a front rower romping around and up the field like a bullock who’s still got a pair!! The boy saw the try line from 40m out and nothing was gonna stop him getting there!! Lovely stuff!!
With the match well into the red-zone, and after a few probes at the defence by our backs hadn’t got us anywhere, we won a scum on the Garnock 22 . In truth, we didn’t really look like scoring even with the territorial advantage, and even less likely to do so when Mikey decided to break blind. But decide he did and a deft inside ball to Kieran saw our 6 burst through a couple of despairing tackles to bag his brace.
And so, there it is boys and girls! We won. Handsomely as it turned out but not a faultless performance by any means – we need to be more “alert” for the full game and learn not get caught on the hop. But at times, we really were pretty damned good for which the boys deserve a whole lotta credit and, despite the occasional lapses that I’m sure they’ll admit to, I’ll take that. Respect to Garnock though because, despite today’s loss and all the difficulties they’ve faced this season, they are an extremely competitive and organised side.
MOTM – difficult one: lots of work in the boiler house done, everyone mentioned above and Greg in particular had another great game. Kieran is an obvious candidate, and not just because of his 2 tries. There’ll be an abiding memory too for all on the far touchline of Sam, clutching his ribs towards the end and being asked by Coach B if he wanted to come off: his “V” sign in reply said so much about our Antipodean “lovelie”. But no. Armed with a a very large Glenmorangie by my side and absolutely no one to contradict me as I write this, this scribe is gonna award the MOTM to Mr Mathie. A great all-round performance today Wee Man, even if part of it was spent out of position.
Ref Watch – OK, so we know being a ref isn’t easy. And where would we be without them? Nowhere. That’s “where”. But what makes a good one? Firstly, there’s consistency in decision-making. Secondly, there’s communication with players (from the get-go). Thirdly, there’s ….errr…… consistency in decision-making!! Perhaps over-awed by the fact that an assessor was out to grade him, today’s nameless ref was playing not so much as what was before him, but what he thought might appear on the videotape. Too bad. For one, this scribe reckons todays ref could have, should have, would have, been better without that pressure. 6/10.
P.S. Special thanks today to Rosie for looking after team mascot, Tess. Even more”special” thanks to The Admiral for keeping Bryden Snr. under control today – hopefully no more “shite” to deal with on Monday morning!!!! And, for all our/any viewers of this report from/at SRU HQ, this scribe would just like to point out that the views expressed in it are the authors exclusively, and not (necessarily) the views of GARFC.