Hopes high for Newton side

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GHK 20, Newton Stewart 14

A fine still day was the scene at GHK in Glasgow. Newton Stewart had not had a league game since the beginning of December. The squad were hoping that the form they had before the break was still with them. The forwards were the same as had played in the last few league games with a few forced changes in the backs due to injury and non-availability.

Newton Stewart kicked off with GHK a little bit rusty they knocked on straight away. NS were taking the game to the home team with some great off loading out of the tackle and hitting the rucks hard. This told after a while and GHK went off their feet at the break down. David Sommerville took three points.

GHK’s game plan was obvious, to spin the ball wide at every opportunity and use the very pacey back division. After a good driving maul GHK released the backs and a swift se t of hands put the full back in the corner. The extras were added with an excellent kick from wide out by their number ten.

The rest of the half NS battled away and were playing all the rugby. GHK were getting nowhere near the gain time as NS were hammering them back with a great defensive line. But on one occasion the ref felt NS were just too quick up even though he had his back to NS and gave a penalty to the home team which was duly taken, 3 points.

Half time and more of the same was needed by NS. The forwards were dominating and needed to keep GHK on the back foot. The scrum was causing GHK all sorts of problems with NS front row demolishing their opposition, 5 strikes against the lead was a real doing. With Newton on the GHK 5 metre line it was NS scrum, drive for the line was order of the day, and as Newton drove them over the line GHK collapsed penalty for Newton scrum again, this time GHK went round 90 degrees and the ref gave it to GHK. Scrum set GHK put in and NS drove them off the ball and over the line for No 8 A Gaw to get the try which was a great pack effort. The conversion was missed.

It wasn’t long before NS were back on GHK line and the ref had his arm up for a penalty to NS but was playing advantage, then when the ball was fly hacked down the pitch no such penalty was there the refs had had been lowered for no reason, this resulted in a line out deep in NS territory.

With GHK rucking on the NS line the ball squirted out the side , first on was a NS boot which launched the ball away. The ref gave a penalty to GHK and a quick tap saw their No 8 go hurtling over the line – an easy 7 pointer. Not long after they were given another penalty for holding on which was converted.

To NS credit the last 15 minutes were all NS with 3 carries over the line deemed to be held up and Ben Haigh scoring a try and the ref blows for a penalty to NS saying he didn’t see the try. Whatever we did we came up short, you would think we were playing against 16 men. But 2 late penalties gave NS a losing bonus point which coul d be critical come the end of the season. Final score 20-14

Players on the day were great, special mention to the forwards who really put the GHK pack to the sword. So let’s have more of the same Newton Stewart this weekend when Annan are welcomed to Bladnoch Park for a crucial game. Kick-off 2pm.

Russell Gaw