GARSTANG got back to winning ways with a hard-fought 9-8 win at third-placed Hawcoat Park.
This was a game that was in the balance until the end, but Garstang know that they should have had the game won much earlier.
Garstang dominated early possession, but could not make the breakthrough. They also wasted so much ball with pointless and meaningless kicks, which just gave possession back to the grateful Hawcoat side.
Midway through the half, a Garstang infringement gifted the home side a penalty, which they kicked to take a 3-0 lead.
Garstang were awarded a penalty of their own which John Robinson converted to level the scores at 3-3 at the break.
In the second period, Robinson added another penalty, to give Garstang a 6-3 lead, but this was not a true reflection of the difference between the sides.
With chances being spurned, Garstang were always going to be vulnerable, and with 10 minutes remaining, they were hit with a sucker punch as Hawcoat scored a well-worked try to take the lead at 8-6.
Fortunately, the kicker failed with his attempt at goal, and Garstang knew they could still win the game with any type of score. By now, Garstang had lost Kelsall and Miller to injury, and they had been replaced by Raby and Jones respectively.
With the clock ticking, Garstang started to apply pressure in the final third. When they got within kicking range, the forwards controlled the ball before Lambert spun it back to John Robinson, who clipped over a neat drop goal, to put Garstang back in the lead at 9-8 with just a few minutes remaining.
In the final few minutes Garstang managed to retain enough ball to see out the game without too many scares and secure an excellent win.
Garstang: Reeves, Kenyon, Miller, Parkinson, Orr, Slater, O’Brien, Kelsall, Lambert, Robinson, Walling, Emmott, Bell, Hey, Nickson.
n ON Saturday, March 17, Garstang have a big game in the semi-final of the Lancashire Bowl.
They are away at Newton-le-Willows, kick-off 1.30pm. There is a coach to the game, and it will leave the club at 11.30am.