Sep 14 2012 by Lizzie Smith, Kilmarnock Standard
COACHES Dougie Campbell and Robbie Stewart believe Kilmarnock’s winning start to the season fired a warning shot to other clubs.
The Bellsland lads racked up another bonus point victory this week away to Garnock at Lochshore on Saturday.
Garnock kicked off with a slight wind advantage and forced the first scrum, the ball moved to player coach Paul Johnston who kicked into the Kilmarnock 22 area but the chasing players knocked on.
Kilmarnock’s Colin Sturgeon kicked downfield to relieve the pressure. Garnock held possession from the first lineout and drove upfield to win a penalty, converting from 45m for a 3-0 lead after four minutes.
Kilmarnock levelled two minutes later, with Sturgeon kicking a 38m penalty after the Garnock forwards went over the top in a ruck.
From the restart Garnock won a lineout and played the ball between the half backs. Kilmarnock lost the ball at the next lineout and after a quick tap penalty the heavy Garnock pack drove over for their first try. The conversion put Garnock10-3 ahead after 10 minutes.
Kilmarnock took a tap penalty after the restart, moving the ball along their backline to win a penalty and Sturgeon narrowed the score to 10-6.
Kilmarnock centre Johnny Bradford made a 30m break and passed to Michael Kidd but the move faltered and Kilmarnock were given a penalty which Sturgeon slotted from 35 metres.
Two minutes later Kilmarnock’s forward pass gave away a penalty but Sturgeon hit the post from 48 metres.
Greg Montgomery broke after a lineout but was engulfed and lost possession, giving Garnock a penalty to make the score 13-9 to the home side.
A backline move saw right winger Ruaridh Cuthbertson enter the line and his pass released opposite winger Paul Ramsey, who raced in to score Kilmarnock’s first try. Sturgeon converted with the last kick of the half, giving Kilmarnock a 16-13 lead.
Kilmarnock stepped up their tempo as the home side gave away a number of penalties. After not retiring 10 metres McKenzie Pearce burst through, only to be penalised.
Hooker Stuart Lauder broke and sey up an attack from his own half. Winger Ruaridh Cuthbertson collecting the ball on the opposition 22 line, raced away and was tackled short of the goal line but managed to stretch over for a superb try in the right hand corner. The conversion was missed as Kilmarnock edged 21-13 in front.
Kilmarnock prop Dave McLeaod replaced hooker Lauder and the match saw Kilmarnock pressurise the home pack
An Ally McWhirter downfield kick was chased at pace by Paul Ramsey. The home fullback fumbled on the ground and young Ramsey kicked ahead and collected to score his second try in the left hand corner. Sturgeon missed the conversion but Kilmarnock were 26-13 ahead.
Garnock went on the attack as Sean Christie, Stuart Lauder and Chris Milligan replaced Ruaridh Cuthbertson, Barry McKay and Mckenzie Pearce.
Sean Christie and Johnny Bradford made a couple of telling tackles as Kilmarnock soaked up the pressure.
Greg Montgomery raced upfield with Chris Milligan in support and a swift to Bradford allowed the captain to pass to speeding winger Ramsey to collect and score his hat-trick try giving Kilmarnock a bonus point victory.
Kilmarnock will travel to Bladnoch Park for a tough encounter with Newton Stewart this Saturday.