Newton Stewart kept themselves in title contention in National League Division 3 with a 33-19 win over Gordonians.
Gordonians burst out the starting gate looking the livelier of the two teams despite their 4am start due to the earlier kick off time.
Securing possession, their big centre used his power to burst through the Reds’ defence and score a try with only four minutes played though they were unable to add the conversion.
Playing on the 3G pitch at Blairmount due to the persistent rain, Newton Stewart forwards secured the ball and recycled it through 2-3 phases before sending it out to full-back Fraser Morton who ran in 25m unopposed to score. He then secured the conversion points too for a 7-5 lead.
With the final play of the first half, the Reds made a great lineout steal. Immediately pushing forwards Dewar and centre Calum Gaw made some important yards before William McCornick crashed over next to the posts. Fraser Morton converted once more to take Newton Stewart in the break 14-5 ahead although the game had been much tighter than the score suggested.
With the start of the second half the Reds made life hard for themselves again with some basic handling errors and Gordonians took full advantage from the scrum as they scored a converted try to narrow the gap.
Gaw increased the Reds’ lead using his pace to outrun the covering defence before cutting in to score a try under the posts. Morton secured the extras again and Newton Stewart led 21-12.
A spate of niggly infringements and handling errors meant the hosts were under some serious pressure from Gordonians. Making the most of their advantage to kick the ball to the corner, the visitors set up a driving maul from their lineout to push their way over for another converted try and the gap was narrowed to two points once more.
Keen not the let their opponents back into the game Morton broke two tackles on his way to the line for the bonus point try. His conversion kick hit the post; the only blight on a super day’s kicking.
Newton Stewart wrapped up the points as Robbie McCornick found a gap in the defence and ducked through for a final converted try.