Stewartry 41, Clydebank 5
This season’s matches between Stewartry and Clydebank have been games of the proverbial two halves.
The first encounter at Clydebank ended in the first minute of the second half when the referee retired injured and the game was abandoned.
The return game on Saturday at Greenlaw was over by the 32nd minute when Stewartry had scored their fourth, and bonus-point, try. Stewartry put the shutters up and the crowd could all have retired to the clubhouse such was the poor fare on the pitch in the second period, with the Stewartry players saying it was the quietest they had ever heard the home crowd.
Clydebank kicked off in the bright sunshine towards the clubhouse but it was Stewartry who were soon on the attack from a third-minute scrum which was cleanly won, giving centre John Muir the chance of a jinking run from the halfway line to score between the posts. Craig Mosey added the conversion.
Smith took the Clydebank kick-off but he and Armstrong were bundled into touch and possession lost. Stewartry’s John Fingland took a quick penalty, driving into the Bankies 22, followed up by TJ McCarney making a further break. A move practised on the training pitch paid off when, from a scrum in the Bankies 22, the ball was passed to Mosey who passed onto Danny Boyd who slipped the ball back inside to Ian Fenwick for another score between the posts, Mosey again converting.
Four minutes later Mosey added a penalty for a 17-0 lead.
Clydebank started to get their second wind and made progress up the touchline with a number of penalty kicks. After 20 minutes, Ian McMorrin replaced Tommy Cannon, both props making good recoveries from serious leg injuries.
Two tries – in the 29th and 32nd minutes – clinched the bonus point for the fourth try.
First up was a slick passing move involving Smith, Cammy Fenwick and Muir to put winger Scott Carson in on the right, Mosey converting. Three minutes later it was Carson again out on the right from good work by Armstrong and Fingland. And Mosey made it five kicks from five for a 31-0 lead.
Stewartry seemed to think the game was won and eased off. Clydebank took advantage and, from a penalty, won lineout and drove Stewartry back and over the try line for a score. This reverse upset Stewartry and they fell foul of the referee who marched them back 10 metres for dissent.
If the crowd thought they were going to be in for some more scores from Stewartry playing in their change strips of white shirts, they were to be disappointed as the home side closed down the best efforts of the Bankies and made very few scoring chances themselves.
Cammy Fenwick was handily placed when a Clydebank defender attempted a clearance kick at the ball but missed and Fenwick had only to fall on it for a fifth try. Mosey again added the conversion.
Stewartry replaced Boyd and Kerr with Riddick and Sainsbury, giving the full squad a run out and much needed match time.
Mosey completed a 100 percent kicking record with a seventh goal a penalty with five minutes to go, taking his points total this season to 120. John Muir is now the leading try scorer with 13.
Stewartry: J Fingland, S Carson, J Muir, D Boyd, TJ McCarney, C Mosey, J Farquhar, M Smith, D Burton, T Cannon, R Porteous, J Armstrong, C Fenwick, J Kerr, I Fenwick (captain), I McMorrin, K Riddick and H Sainsbury.
This week Stewartry make a first ever visit to Loch Lomond with a 2pm kick-off.
Stewartry Sirens, the Stewartry ladies team, have the chance of winning the league title away at Grangemouth in their last league game on Sunday. Leading try scorer Hannah Sloan and Chloe Johnstone were included in a training weekend with Scotland under-20s last weekend.
Stewartry Sharks U/16s have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Scottish National Youth Cup and travel to Stirling County from the Scottish National League on Sunday for a 2pm kick-off.