Newton Stewart took advantage of Gordonians’ inactivity to stretch their lead at the top of National League Divison 3 to four points after an emphatic 55-10 win over Haddington at Bladnoch Park.
Haddington opened up a three-point lead with an effort on target with just five minutes played before extending their lead from a driving maul with the first try of the match.
Reds at last made their presence felt in the Haddington half and Fraser Morton dispatched a penalty.
It was to get better for the leaders as Russell Morton blasted down the wing for a try and his brother Fraser levelled the scores with the conversion.
Prop Gavin Freeland made his mark, powering forwards with a big carry. This proved the catalyst for a fast paced try from the Reds, with Jamie Muir collecting a deep loose ball before passing out to Liam Brawls for a try in the corner. This took Newton Stewart into half-time with a 15-10 lead.
The early play of the second half saw James Wallace making a superb break to take the Reds into a dangerous position once again. They went through the phases before James regained possession and scored a try at full stretch. Morton converted for 22-10.
Some strong carries came now from forwards Thomas MacDonald and Alan Ferrie before second row William McCornick burst from nowhere to score under the posts.
Newton Stewart were in control now and starting to run riot. Breaking up the left wing, Russell Morton scored a second try before Fraser converted the difficult conversion from out wide once again.
With the restart Ferrie made another superb break before the ball went through both Morton brothers to end up in the hands of Robert Service (on from the bench), who dived over to score the Reds’ sixth try of the day.
Robbie McCornick made a brilliant break up the left touchline now, wrestling with the last man to try to go over the top of him. Support came in the form of Thomas MacDonald, but he was taken down just inches from the line. Determined to have the last word in this manoeuvre however, Robbie McCornick gathered up the ball and jumped over the top of the ruck to score. Fraser Morton converted again.
The last score of the game proved to be a hat-trick for Russell Morton. He ripped through the ragged Haddington defences to score an eighth try for Newton Stewart. Fraser Morton converted this one also (making for an impressive 7/9 kicks), to leave the final score at 55-10.
Next weekend Newton Stewart will travel away to Ardrossan Academicals for what promises to be a difficult match. Always tough opponents, they are formidable on home turf and the Reds will need to produce an impressive performance to secure victory.