Newton Stewart hosted and won their rugby sevens tournament in a thrilling sudden death play-off against Dumfries which took place last weekend.
Some poor weather this season has left many clubs with an extended season trying to catch up on postponed matches, and so many regulars were unable to attend the tournament.
As a result the competition was small in team numbers, but the good crowd which gathered to watch was treated to a very high standard of rugby.
After the completion of the round robin stages the Reds first VIIs and Dumfries were lying at the top of the table and so progressed to a grand final.
By half-time is was one try apiece but Dumfries scored after the break and then missed the conversion.
Newton Stewart countered with a try of their own late in the game via Mark McCornick over in the left corner. The Reds also missed the conversion at 12-12.
The game then progressed to a ‘sudden death’ play-off where the first try scored wins.
There were valiant efforts from both sides and the game could have gone either way.
An intercepted pass from Dumfries gave them a chance to attack but when Russell Morton countered with an intercept of his own they were forced to quickly revert to defence.
With Saints players closing down on Morton he tossed a deft pass ‘out the back door’ to Robert Service who put his foot down on the gas and raced under the posts to secure the tournament victory for the Reds to rapturous cheers.
The event was generously sponsored by Lactalis McLelland Ltd, producers of Seriously cheddar. The Bladnoch Quaich and £500 cash prize on offer were presented to Newton Stewart captain Mark McCornick by Lactalis representative Derek Kennedy.
Player of the Tournament was Dumfries star Jack Steele, who won a bottle of special edition Bladnoch whiskey kindly donated by Bladnoch distillery.
A bottle of Hills and Harbour gin was also donated by Crafty distillery from Newton Stewart, which was awarded for the ‘Craftiest Move of the Tournament’. This prize was awarded to the aforementioned Russell Morton for his pass which created the tournament winning try.
Newton Stewart RFC have one league game remaining this season, at home to St Boswell’s RFC on Saturday 19th May at Bladnoch Park. All are welcomed for the 3pm kick-off.