Stewartry had a convincing win at home over Cumnock back in September but the Black and Reds have only lost one game in seven since then and had moved up to third in the BT West Division Two behind Annan and leaders Stewartry.
Cumnock kicked off in perfect sunny conditions and on a reasonably dry pitch. Within a minute a penalty award to the home side was converted and Stewartry now knew they were going to have a game on their hands as they were bundled backwards from the kick off. Stewartry were quick to reply with Muir taking a quick penalty but he was quickly tackled to the ground. Stewartry were light in the scrum as Cumnock stood firm and disrupted the Stewartry ball.
From a lineout win Burton, Smith and J Kerr took play into the Cumnock 22. Cumnock won a penalty kick to the corner and then the following lineout to drive to the Stewartry line. A scrum against the head for Cumnock saw them score the opening try which they converted to lead 10-0 after just 12 minutes.
Stewartry hit back with Austin and Boyd taking play into the Cumnock half then Boyd, Muir and Farquhar taking the game to Cumnock. Cumnock hit back with a penalty attempt at the Stewartry posts which slid past. The referee was awarding penalties to both sides and when J Kerr took a quick one he gained a further ten metres for Cumnock slow to retire this gave Mosey the chance to kick to touch in the corner. McCulloch won the lineout and was driven to the line but Cumnock stopped the drive so Stewartry reset and sent the ball wide out right where Fingland put Danny Boyd in for a try in the corner. The conversion was missed but from the restart Stewartry kept the pressure on until half time. 10-5 to Cumnock.
Stewartry kicked off and straight into touch not the best of starts. From the Cumnock scrum Stewartry won it back in some loose ruck play and the ball was passed through four sets of hands for Fingland again to set up a try this time for hard running John Picken. The conversion again missed but Stewartry were now level. Minutes later Mosey broke from his own half only to be held five metres short. Andrew Kerr came off injured midway through the half and Stewarty put replacements on for the final push Captain Cannon, Porteous and Thomson as they rejigged the forwards.
The penalty count continued to rise and both teams failed in kicks at the posts before with only a minute of time left Mosey kicked a penalty from in front of the posts. 13-10 to Stewartry going into the final play of the game and Cumnock won a penalty twenty metres out in front off the posts. Cumnock needed the win to keep their promotion hopes alive so kicked to touch for the chance to score a try from the lineout. The referee agreed the lineout would be the final play Stewartry’s McCulloch read the throw perfectly won clean ball passed to scrum half Farquhar who booted the ball to touch and victory for Stewartry.
A very hard fought win for Stewartry against a battling Cumnock who gave their all. Stewartry are now on 55 points, 18 ahead of second placed Annan whose game was off when Waysiders Drumpellier could not raise a team.
Annan are now four games behind, a potential 20 points. This week Stewartry are away to Isle of Arran for their first ever game over on the island.