Waysiders Drumpellier 16, Stewartry 14
Stewartry’s stay at the top of RBS West Division Two was short-lived as they found Waysiders Drumpellier up to their old tricks of being a bogey team of the past three seasons.
This was Stewartry’s fourth trip to Langloan since the clubs met up again on league business and, although the gap was down to two points at the end, this was not a top-of-the-table performance from the Blacks.
Waysiders have a big scrum that is ideal for their gluepot pitch and, with a number of experienced old heads in the pack, they were able to tie in the Blacks forwards, winning numerous penalties throughout the game.
Stewartry tried to open the game out but breakaway attacks from John Muir, Craig Mosey and Danny Boyd all petered out due to lack of support and good defensive play by Waysiders.
The home side kicked off and within a minute Stewartry were penalised, from which W/D kicked into the corner but Stewartry won the lineout and Craig Mosey cleared.
Four minutes later and a penalty against the Stewartry scrum gave W/D their score and a 3-0 lead. More penalty awards followed, with W/D missing a second three minutes later.
It took Stewartry 10 minutes before they made any progress into the W/D 22, with John Muir making his first break from defence, backed up by Mosey, Swalwell and Boyd. From the resulting pressure, Stewartry won a penalty which Cammy Fenwick converted to draw level.
Two minutes later W/D regained their lead from another penalty.
Their big back row were causing the Stewartry defence problems in the loose, making over 30 metres in one breakout. A kick ahead was picked up by Stewartry’s John Muir in his own 22 and his jinking run took him to the hosts’ 22 where Paul Swalwell took the ball on only to be stopped just short of the line in this his 352nd game.
Two minutes later a Cammy Fenwick penalty came back off the post as Stewartry enjoyed their best part of the game with Muir, Robert Wallace, Danny Burton and Liam Henderson setting up a penalty kick chance from another Mosey break. Fenwick kicked the points to level again.
Minutes later W/D missed another kick but in 37 minutes the heavyweight scrum proved its worth and Waysiders scored a pushover try but missed the conversion.
Stewartry had one more chance in the first half when Boyd and Muir broke out from the Stewartry 22 and made it all the way to the W/D 22 only to lose possession.
Stuart Broll came on for the injured Tommy Cannon and Kerr McMinn replaced the injured Rory Porteous at half time, and Stewartry restarted with more intent and were rewarded when they won a penalty lineout in the corner and mauled over for a Kerr McMinn try. The kick was missed but again the score was tied.
On 50 minutes Muir was held up over the line after another 30-metre dash. With both sets of forwards enjoying the joust, cheers from the crowd greeted the players as they turned over ball in the scrums.
Waysiders were now putting on the pressure and only a last-ditch tackle from Robert Wallace stopped them scoring.
At this point the referee held up the game to inquire of the Waysiders coach what the score was and he informed him it was still 11-11.
On the hour Waysiders were awarded a disputed try in the corner where camera evidence from the supporters proved the player had put a foot in touch but the referee and touch judge both missed it and the home side led again.
Five minutes later the Waysiders openside flanker was yellow carded but Stewartry could not take advantage of the extra man. Eight minutes from the end Cammy Fenwick added another penalty to narrow the gap but it was too little, too late, and the defeat drops them back down to third in the league as both Annan and Lenzie won.
This week it will be another tough game at home for Stewartry to fourth-placed Strathendrick on their first visit to Greenlaw on league business. Kick-offs are now 2pm.
Stewarty: J Muir, A Kerr, C Fenwick, D Boyd, J Fingland, R Wallace, T Cannon, D Burton, I McMorran, L Henderson, R Porteous, S McCulloch, P Swalwell, I Fenwick (captain) S Broll, S Hogg, K McMinn, M Taylor. Sub not used: C Davidson.