Stewartry 38, Strathendrick 5
Stewartry returned to the top of the RBS West Division Two with this six tries to one victory over Strathendrick on their first visit to Greenlaw.
Stewartry showed their intent from the start that they would run the ball to the visitors, with John Muir first to make progress up the wing only to put a foot in touch.
Next up was captain Ian Fenwick from a lineout, being stopped just five metres out when the ball was knocked on.
From a scrum in the fourth minute, Stevie Hogg drove over between the posts for his first try and Cammy Fenwick added the conversion.
From the restart Strathendrick won a penalty but the kick went wide of the posts. From the drop-out, Muir made progress into the Strathendrick 22, where Stewartry won a penalty lineout. The ball was secured at the five metre lineout but the Stewartry forwards were held up over the line and the score was not given.
From the resultant scrum, Ian Fenwick controlled the ball at number eight and the Blacks drove forward only for the Strathendrick pack to collapse it and Stewartry were awarded a penalty try, to which Cammy Fenwick added the extras for a 14-0 lead.
Minutes later, a shortened lineout was won by veteran Paul Swalwell, who charged into the visitors 22 before giving the perfect offload to fullback David Kerr, who raced in for the third try. Cammy Fenwick completed his hattrick of conversions.
Stewartry continue to give away too many penalties in games and Strathendrick used this to their advantage to put pressure on the Blacks, driving them back into their 22 on a couple of occasions before Craig Mosey cleared the lines past halfway.
Minutes later it was Mosey again with a clearance kick as Strathendrick kept the pressure on. From a lineout win, Mosey burst clear but the final pass to Kerr was adjudged forward to deny him a score.
Just five minutes before half-time, Stewartry earned the bonus point, their eighth in nine games, when from a ruck 20 metres out Danny Boyd dodged his way over for his second try of the season, this time between the posts. The easy conversion was the last for the day for Cammy Fenwick but it earned a 28-0 half-time lead.
Stewartry started the second half putting the pressure on from the kick-off and from a penalty scrum in front of the posts captain Fenwick picked up and drove forward twice, having lost the ball the first time only for Stewartry players to give away another penalty for coming in from the side at a ruck. Stewartry were pushed back into their own half and, from a lineout, secured the ball for the backs to set Kerr in for his second try and his sixth for the season.
Stewartry made a number of changes in the second half with McMorran, McMinn, Blair and Walker coming on. This disrupted the flow of the game for a time with play mostly in the midfield. Stewartry appeared to have eased up with the game won and Strathendrick took advantage of a number of penalties against the Blacks to run in a consolation try in the corner.
Davidson and Jamieson, however, joined the fray to help this season’s top try scorer Ian Fenwick over the line for a sixth touchdown and his season’s eighth for a final score of 38-5.
This was a much better performance but with a three-week break for the autumn internationals coming up, hard work will be required on the training ground to keep the Blacks on top of the league after leaders Annan and Lenzie both lost out to the weather.
Stewartry and Newton Stewart are hoping to play for the Sandy Irving Trophy on Saturday, November 24, with an early kick-off at Castle Douglas before Scotland v Tonga match at 3pm.
Stewartry: D Kerr, J Fingland, C Fenwick, Danny Boyd, J Muir, C Mosey, R Wallace, T Cannon, D Burton, S Broll, L Henderson, S Hogg, P Swalwell, I Fenwick (captain), S McCulloch, I McMorran, C Davidson, K McMinn, C Walker, S Blair J Jamieson.