Newton Stewart RFC secured league promotion last weekend with a comprehensive victory against Carrick RFC in the final home game of the season.
They needed just a single point from this match to put themselves out of reach of their closest rivals and a great crowd turned out to watch the Reds in the bid for glory.
Reds opened the scoring just a few minutes in when they turned over possession and back row James Wallace surged up the park to the ten metre line with scrum half Robbie McCornick in support. Martin Wallace gave the final pass to David Gaw to score. Jack Gaw missed his kick.
With 25 minutes played the Reds came on the attack once more, patiently going through phases and trying to stretch the visitors’ defence. After a prolonged assault David Gaw found his way through for the second time and Jack Gaw added the extras for a 12-0 lead.
Only minutes later the scoreboard changed again when the Newton Stewart acting captain, Fraser Morton, snatched an interception and used his pace to gallop upfield for a try in the left corner. This conversion was just short with the strong breeze blowing directly against the kick.
Carrick responded with a try of their own from their prop in the corner and a successful conversion made it 17-7.
Newton Stewart were keen to seal promotion by half-time and the bonus point try came when James Wallace bulldozed his way through the Carrick defence. A huge cheer went up from the onlooking crowd and Jack Gaw slotted the conversion kick through too to put the Reds 24-7 ahead going into half-time.
The second half had some scrappy moments at times, but Newton Stewart remained in control and extended their lead when back row Alan Ferrie made a superb break, running over the top of his opponents before passing to Calum Gaw who ran an excellent support line and got the try for his efforts.
Full-back Russell Morton claimed the last two tries of the game, linking well with David Gaw on both occasions. The latter saw Gaw put a great kick over the top of the Carrick defences. Morton scooped it up and ran away under the posts. Both of his tries were converted by Jack Gaw to give a final score of 45-7.