Stewartry must focus on early stages

A second successive away game in BT West Division 2 took Stewartry to Cumbernauld last week.

The home side kicked off and were quickly deep into the Blacks 22 where they managed a turnover. Cumbernauld broke through loose defence to touch down adding the conversion with only 2 minutes on the clock.

Stewartry got a lineout on the home 22.but chat to the referee by Cumbernauld changed it to a penalty giving the Blacks another 10 metres.

Stewartry caught the ball at the 5 metre lineout and pushed the hosts back into a ruck 2 metres from their line. The Blacks secured the ball to put it out their back line but a Cumbernauld intercept allowed them to break away into open field. This took the home side up to the Blacks 22 but Muir was there to put the attacker into touch.

Twelve minutes in the Blacks gave away a penalty at a lineout on their own 22. The kick hit the near post and the Stewartry clearance did not go far.

Cumbernauld kept up the pressure penetrating deep into the Stewartry 22 but the Blacks turned the ball over allowing Mosey to clear it away.

Going into the second quarter the hosts were penalised for a high tackle on the own 22 giving Stewartry a lineout 10 metres from the Cumbernauld line.

The Blacks took the ball sending it wide over to the opposite wing where Muir ran in to touch down with Mosey adding the goal to level the points.

At a scrum on halfway the hosts took the ball putting it out to their right wing. A two man overlap allowed them to get past Stewartry defenders for a second try under the uprights adding the conversion.

McCulloch performed an action replay from the previous week when he took a great catch from the restart kick. He was quickly up to the home 22 but was stopped. The home forwards gave away a penalty for not releasing in the ruck giving Stewartry a 5 metre lineout.

Porteous secured the ball and the Stewartry pack drove over for him to score. Mosey’s conversion added 2 more points.

With five minutes left to the interval the Blacks made it up to the home 22 but were penalised for going over the top in at a ruck. This allowed Cumbernauld to clear their lines.

The home team got back into the Stewartry 22 but got stopped 10 metres from the Blacks line. In the scrum Stewartry took the ball sending it out to Muir. He broke through the home defence and raced the length of the pitch to get a try out on the left side. The conversion missed leaving the Blacks with a 5 point advantage at the interval.

The second half start was a repeat of the first except this time in the second minute Stewartry turned the ball over putting it to Austin. He got up to the home 22 but was stopped. His offload went to Muir who crashed through 2 defenders to score out wide. The conversion went wide.

From the restart McCulloch again took a lovely catch making it up to halfway. He passed to Mosey who raced into space and went in under the posts adding the extras. Ian McMorran was replaced by Broll.

With 8 minutes gone at a ruck on the halfway line the ball came out to Mosey. Once more he cut through loose defence with John Kerr in support. Kerr made more ground before passing to Austin letting him in to touch down. Mosey slotted the conversion. Muir was replaced by Taylor.

Taking the ball in a lineouit it went back to Austin who raced up the right wing. Picken was on his shoulder.to take the inside pass and score. The goal kick missed. Fifteen minutes in Ally McMorran and Roberts went on for Andrew Kerr and Cannon.

The home forwards went into attack on the left wing getting up to the Stewartry 5 metre line but were stopped short. Muir had to replace Picken when he took a knock on his knee.

At the scrum Cumbernauld took the heal driving over the Blacks line but the ball was held up. In the reset, again the home pack got the ball which they chipped over to the right but it went into touch.

Going into the last quarter the Blacks got deep into home ground where Porteous went over to take the points to 50 with another converted try.

With 15 minutes remaining the Blacks went offside giving Cumbernauld a lineout 8 metres from the Stewartry try line. However good work by Porteous secured the ball for Mosey to clear it away. Mosey caught the Cumbernauld return and raced down the right side with Muir on his shoulder. Mosey’s inside pass put Muir in under the uprights with Mosey adding the conversion.

Ten minutes from time in a ruck on the halfway line Austin took the ball and dodged past loose defence. His offload to Muir put him in for try number 5 under the sticks. Again Mosey slotted the extras.

Cumbernauld went into attack on the right side of the park but got stopped 5 metres from the Stewartry line. The Blacks got a turnover and made it back to halfway where they went offside. The hosts took a quick kick but the Blacks managed another turnover on their own 10 metre line.

With 5 minutes left Broll took the ball in hand on the home 10 metre line heading for the try line. He broke through 2 home defenders to go in and touch down with Mosey adding the conversion. Kerr went back on in place of Taylor after a clash of heads.

Cumbernauld’s restart kick did not go 10 metres and the referee awarded a scrum on halfway. The ball went back to Austin and again he used his speed to make ground before passing to Mosey allowing him to score again under the posts. His conversion was the last action in the game. Final score Cumbernauld 14 Stewartry 78.

Unfortunately the home side ran out of steam in the second period. If Stewartry want to stay in league contention they must focus on the early stages of their game and make the tackles count.

Stewartry squad:- J Fingland, J Picken, J Muir,, R Austin, S Milligan, C Mosey, J Farquhar, I McMorran, D Burton, T Cannon, R Proteous ( captain),

A Kerr, J Kerr, S McCulloch, M Smith, S Broll, K Roberts, M Taylor, A McMorran.