Newton Stewart welcomed Glasgow Accies to Bladnoch Park filled with confidence after their comprehensive bonus point victory the previous week.
The visitors had also performed impressively and had served up a 65-0 drubbing to Kilmarnock, so both teams must have fancied their chances before kick off.
The game kicked off in glorious warm and sunny conditions with both teams keen to throw the ball about and put on a show of running rugby. Accies who have consistently had one of the best back lines in the league over the last couple of seasons, have bolstered their forward pack with some shrewd pre-season signings. With their forwards providing a stream of good ball the Glasgow men were out of the blocks first and had scored the opening try within minutes. Newton Stewart were defending quite comfortably but a moment of brilliance from the Accies no 7 with a lovely slick pass saw him release their centre to race beneath the posts. With the conversion added Newton Stewart were desperate to hit back immediately but unfortunately for them a loose kick was gathered by the young Accies full back and he jinked and weaved his way through a lacklustre Reds defence to stretch his sides lead to 14-0 after the successful conversion after only 10 minutes on the clock.
Newton were a little shell-shocked and needed something to happen fast if they were to avoid a long and painful afternoon against a confident Accies outfit. Up step the Vet Gaw who read a pass perfectly to intercept and gallop in from halfway and touch down under the posts for an easy conversion for Russell to convert. This opportunist try seemed to galvanise the Reds as they started to put some good phases of play together. They were awarded a penalty which Russell narrowly pushed wide of the posts. Both teams were looking dangerous with ball in hand but Newton suffered a blow as Russell was sent to the bin for illegal use of the boot in a ruck. Accies were now looking to take advantage of their numerical advantage but some dogged Newton Stewart defence kept them out to leave the half time score 14-7 to the visitors.
The second half began like the first with Accies hammering deep into the Reds half, however this time their defence was up to the challenge and with their scrum starting to dominate, Newton Stewart worked their way out of trouble. They started to build some phases of their own and after Accies were caught offside Russell, who was now back off the naughty step, slotted the penalty to narrow the gap to 14-10. Newton now had some real momentum and were starting to sense that the game could be theirs for the taking. Another penalty attempt drifted wide of the posts for the home side and then with Accies breaking up field and winning a late penalty, their no 10 made no mistake to make the final score 17-10.
Newton Stewart had the consolation of securing a losing bonus point against a very strong Accies team who may well be challenging for the league title come the end of the season. The youngish side will look to learn from their early mistakes and take the positives from what was a strong performance.
This Saturday they welcome Kilmarnock to Bladnoch Park kick off 3pm.
Team: M Wallace, R Fiskin, S Hamilton, M Adams, A Gaw, W McCornick(c), M Mccornick, D Montgomery, R McCornick, J Muir, I Russell, J Wallace, L Brawls, F Morton, G McMillan, D Skimming, B Mould, B Haigh, J McWhirter.