Newton Stewart beat Whitecraigs to top National League 2

Newton Stewart maintained their winning start to the season with a 58-22 win over Whitecraigs which sent them top of National League 2.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:28 pm
Man of the Match Ronan McDonald on the charge during Newton Stewart's win over Whitecraigs (pic: Newton Stewart RFC)

With three bonus point wins under their belts the Reds sit proudly ahead of local rivals Dumfries Saints on points difference.

They started slowly against Whitecraigs who grabbed an early try and scrabbled to avoid further damage before a Jack Gaw penalty narrowed the gap to 5-3.

Veteran prop Martin Wallace came off the bench after 20m minutes to try to even out the scrums but found himself on the receiving end of a yellow card from the referee almost instantly.

As the Reds were reduced to 14 men for the next 10 minutes, they knew they would have to up their game to stay in the match.

But their response was excellent. Some slick ball handling skills came into play and as the Newton Stewart back line got the opportunity to stretch their legs at last tries came in quick succession for back row Mark McCornick and full-back Russell Morton.

Gaw converted the latter converted to put Newton Stewart 15–5 ahead and after Whitecraigs were shown two yellow cards in the latter part of the first half, back row Jason McKie rumbled over to score for a third try to make the half-time score 22–5 with the conversion.

The home side got the try they needed for the bonus point almost immediately after the restart as James McMiken got in on the action to make it a try apiece for the back row, Gaw again converting.

The next 30 minutes saw the Reds backs rip the Whitecraigs defences to shreds with tries for winger Jamie Muir, Russell Morton, captain Fraser Morton, McKie and stand-off David Gaw, the latter getting the biggest cheer of the day for his dummy which fooled the last defender and gave him a clear run in.

However Whitecraigs didn’t let their heads go down and fought back in the last 15 minutes, getting three tries for their efforts to secure a try bonus point.

The Craig Wilson Ltd Man of the Match was Ronan McDonald.

This Saturday Newton Stewart travel to Pebbles for what looks t heir most challenging fixture of t he season so far.