Garioch RFC hang on for hard fought victory in opener

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After a dream start, which had Garioch leading by fourteen points after ten minutes, the hosts were made to fight hard.

Four slick passes later and with hardly 20 seconds on the clock, Chris Lawson was diving under the posts to score Garioch’s first try against Banff.

The conversion was successfully kicked by captain Andy Gowrie. Chris Lawson featured heavily again before he offloaded to full back Euan Moir who crashed over for the second try. Gowrie converted again to give Garioch a 14-0 lead.

The game now settled down with the Banff forward dominated game starting to make an impression and gain both possession and field position.

Indeed the next score came from a long period of Banff possession, but it was again Garioch who scored the try to stretch their lead. Scrum half Mitch Craig showed great anticipation to intercept a pass and race in unopposed from fifty metres, to gleefully score a wonderful solo try under the posts.

Eventually however the strong Banff forward pack did have something to show for their efforts and just before half time they mounted a sustained attack on the Garioch line, which after several phases of play lead to their first try from close range. With the conversion kicked the teams turned around to start the second half with Garioch leading 21-7.

The second half started much as the first had finished with Banff using their forward superiority to put Garioch under pressure.

Although the home side defended well for long periods the mounting pressure eventually told and with Garioch reduced to fourteen men following an infringement close to the try line, Banff took a quick tap penalty and the forwards rumbled over again.

With the kick once again successful, Banff where now closing in on the Garioch score at 21-14 and the home supporters were starting to look a little concerned.

However, their worries were eased directly from the kick off when showing great character and self belief the Garioch back three superbly ran the ball back up to the Banff 22.

The home forwards secured quick ball at the maul and in what seemed like agonisingly slow motion the ball made its way along the line to the unmarked Niall Cadel to score Garioch’s bonus point try out on the right side.

The difficult conversion was missed, and so with a quarter of the game still to go the Garioch lead was 26-14.

With Garioch now looking most likely to be the next scorers, and indeed controversially having a try disallowed in the corner, the game had one final twist when it was the Banff forwards who scored the last points of the game with five minutes to go.

Man of the match for Garioch was debutant Number 8 Niall Calder. Next week the team make the long journey to Fort William to take on Lochaber.