Newton Stewart RFC kicked off their pre-season preparations with their annual trip to the Turnberry Beach Rugby tournament last weekend.
Beach rugby is a 5-a side game played on a sand pitch roughly the size of a tennis court. With no real set pieces, the game is fast-paced. The added effort of playing on soft ground means it is an exhausting game, so rolling subs are used to keep the legs fresh.
A squad of eleven players travelled to the event from the club. Their first game was against a team of younger players from Ayr RFC. After a gruelling 15 minutes the Reds finished winning by 3-2. The subsequent game was against the Bill McLaren Foundation. This team was made up of a select group of players from around Ayrshire, including some of the Ayr RFC 1st XV.
They were expected to be strong opposition and they were. The game was close however, Newton Stewart eventually losing by a single try.
Having done enough over the first two games the Reds now progressed to the semi-finals where they met the Scots Guards. Another tight game followed, but Newton Stewart found their way to the try line once more than their opponents to finish 3-2 up and with a place in the final.
It was no surprise to find that the Bill McLaren Foundation team had also made their way to the final. But Newton Stewart put on a great performance with the score 4-4 at full-time. Moving onto sudden death, the Foundation scored first and left Newton Stewart RFC deserving runners-up.
With a best ever performance at this tournament, the foundation is set for a good season. Still to come pre-season is a game away to Melrose Storm on August 13th and the Annan 15s tournament on August 20th. The first game on the 2016-2017 season is at home to Allan Glens RFC on Saturday 27th August at 3pm.
Pre-season training starts on Tuesday 19th July at 7pm at Bladnoch Park. The club looks forward to welcoming members old and new. Look out also for the Newton Stewart RFC marquee at Wigtown Agricultural Show on 3rd August.