Garnock 31-24 Kirkcaldy: Garnock at last find winning formula for Murrayfield final

IT WAS a case of third time lucky for Garnock on Saturday as they toppled Kirkcaldy to lift the Scottish Hydro Electric Shield.

It was never going to be easy for the men from the Garnock Valley, heading into battle against a side from the division above without skipper Graeme Reid and lock Willie Clark, who had the important duties of best man and groom to perform the same afternoon.

When Kirkcaldy stormed back from a 17-6 half-time deficit to level the scores at 24-24 with ten minutes to go the tension was incredible.

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But roared on by a huge support the team drew on the memories of defeats in last year's shield and the 1999 bowl finals, and their stand-in skipper, Paul McCrorie, delivered the knockout blow with his third try three minutes from time.

In all McCrorie pounced for the first, third and fourth tries. Stuart White, the left wing, scored the second, Kurt Jacobsen adding conversions and McCrorie a penalty. Player-coach Quintan Sanft kicked three penalties for Kirkcaldy before great tries from Gavin Neilson and George Mangolo set up the thrilling finale.

Garnock president Billy Walker said: "This was definitely the best day in the club's history. We had eight buses of supporters through and had a great time back in our 'clubhouse', the Eglinton Inn in Beith. Graeme and Willie were delighted and I think all the wedding guests eventually got to the reception.

"This is a real family club. All but two of the final 22 are home-grown boys and the efforts of every single player are rubbing off on the next generations. It's great for rugby in this area."

Scorers: Garnock: Tries: P McCrorie 3, White. Cons: Jacobsen 2, P McCrorie 2. Pen: P McCrorie. Kirkcaldy: Tries: Neilson, Mangolo. Con: Sanft. Pens: Sanft 4.

Garnock: K Jacobsen; A Lyons, C Neill, M Jamieson, SWhite; G McCrorie, P McCrorie; A King, J Holmes, ABrocket, J Brocket, R O'Neill, S Wilson, R Miller, FThomson. Subs: I McKinnon, G Ruxton, G Porter, JMiller, R Hair, PJ Eadie, J McNab.

Kirkcaldy: W Berry; I Gillies, C Harvey, M Wallace, JWebster; Q Sanft, C McConnell; M Thomson, G Wallace, GMangalo, M Harvey, K Fraser, R Murphy, C Wilson, GNeilson. Subs: A Marshall, S Mitchell, W Gray, GMcKenzie, L Neilson, J Watson, A Tasker.

Referee: A Ireland.

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