East Kilbride 33, Stewartry 21
Due to drainage work on the East Kilbride pitch, Stewartry’s first round match in the RBS West Regional Shield had to be played at Strathaven.
Stewartry showed straight away that the home team had a tough game on their hands. But five minutes in, East Kilbride got a scrum inside the Blacks’ 22 from which the home No8 picked up and went in to score their first converted try.
Stewartry stayed focused and 10 minutes later won a lineout on the home 22. Taking a clean catch, the ball went quickly to the backs, allowing John Muir to run in the Blacks’ first try, with Craig Mosey levelling with the conversion.
Catching the restart, Stewartry knocked on on their own 22. In the scrum the Blacks were penalised for going in too early, giving East Kilbride a free kick but Stewartry were not back 10 metres, giving the home side an easy penalty.
Midway through the first half the home restart kick went down the middle of the field. The ball went to Robert Austin, who passed quickly to T J McCarney who found space to break up the left wing. Running through two tackles, he scored the Blacks’ second converted try.
Stewartry gave away another penalty on their own 22, for holding on to the ball on the ground. giving East Kilbride another three points.
On the half-hour, the Blacks got a lineout five metres inside East Kilbride territory. Ian Fenwick made ground but was stopped short. Good support from John Picken and Robert Austin saw them both pick up and drive forward. The ball went to Stuart Broll who powered over for another converted try.
At half-time the Blacks led 13-21.
Three minutes into the second half Stewartry gave away a penalty in front of their posts for handling on the ground, gifting the home team three more points.
Nine minutes later, Liam Henderson and Cammy Fenwick replaced Kerr McMinn and John Fingland.
At the end of the third quarter East Kilbride got a lineout 18 metres from the Blacks’ line, and their pack drove forward but were stopped short. Their No8 picked up at the back of the scrum to go score a converted try to take the lead.
Henry Sainsbury went on for Martin Smith. In 65 minutes East Kilbride won a scrum on halfway. The ball went to their right winger who charged up to the Blacks’ line but he put a foot in touch.
At the lineout the home side took clean ball and sent it over to their left winger. Breaking three tackles he went in for another converted try.
Andrew Kerr replaced T J McCarney. With five minutes left the Blacks attacked again but were stopped 10 metres from the line.
Stewartry gave away another penalty 32 metres from their line for not releasing, giving East Kilbride another three points.
In the remaining time the Blacks got into East Kilbride territory again and got a penalty. Stewartry opted for a lineout but gave away another penalty, letting East Kilbride off the hook.
This was a good display from Stewartry with the younger players performing well against a team who are sitting second in Division 1.
Stewartry: R Austin, J Fingland, J Muir, Danny Boyd, T J McCarney, C Mosey, J Picken, S Broll, D Burton, I McMorran, M Smith, K McMinn, R Porteous, J Kerr, I Fenwick (captain), C Fenwick, L Henderson, A Kerr, H Sainsbury.