Reds are outplayed

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Newton Stewart had an excellent first half with the lion’s share of possession and territory, and Russell gave them an early lead with a penalty.

Newton Stewart 9, Irvine 36

Irvine countered with one of their few visits upfield but their quality stand-off , Welsh import- Danyl Davies, showed his class as he cut through the Newton defence for full-back Maxwell to score and convert.

Newton enjoyed the comfort of playing in their opposition half with McCornick and Hamilton making good yards with ball in hand. Two further penalties to Newton Stewart with one in reply from Irvine saw the 30-minute mark scoreboard at 9-10.

Newton continued to attack and it was difficult to tell which was the “quality” team. As the first half came towards a close, one of Irvine’s few attacks was defended by Newton but, from a defensive scrum, a tactical error by the home side afforded the visitors a cheap penalty from which winger Craig Hobson sneaked over in the corner.

Irvine needed to up their play and, with the wind advantage, the second half was all about the visitors as they showed the quality expected of them.

Newton missed an early penalty but when Irvine attacked through their stand-off Davies it was not long before a second try for their full-back and a third for the visitors made it an uphill struggle for the home side. Newton battled bravely, the forwards an equal match for the visitors but, with ball in hand, Irvine’s quality was too much and two further converted tries allowed them to run out as comfortable victors.

Newton Stewart: M Wallace, R Fiskin, S Hamilton, M Adams, W McCornick, H Hamilton, J Wallace. A Gaw (captain), P Simpson, J Muir, G McMillan, M McCornick, I Russell, S Costley, A Gibson. Subs: B Haigh, K Faulds, C Austin.

John Johnstone