Stewartry’s first game against promoted Millbrae saw the Blacks arrive late and with a depleted squad of 17 players for this top of the table encounter.
Stewartry put that behind them as they kicked off and were ahead in four minutes from a John Muir penalty kick. Stewartry continued to pressurise the Millbrae line with Porteous stopped just short of the line five minutes later.
In 17 minutes Muir sprinted from his own 22 all the way to the Millbrae try line but trying to get closer to the posts saw the ball knocked out off his hand. That may have been the turning point of the game as first Lindsay and then Picken were both held up on the line followed by Stewartry missing two penalty kicks. Four minutes before half time Scott Milligan found space on the wing to score the opening try. The conversion missed. Right on half time John Muir again broke free this time from half way touching down for a try. The conversion missed. Half time Stewartry led 13-0.
The second half saw Millbrae use all their replacements throughout the half to good use in the very hot conditions. Stewartry had already used their forward replacement after an injury to David Thomson in the first half. Six minutes into the half the referee penalised a Millbrae forward for persistent offside and yellow carded him. Stewartry were unable to take any advantage of the extra man as Millbrae upped their game and six minutes later John Kerr joined him on the touch line. Fifty one minutes and the Millbrae winger broke from his own half to score in the corner.
Fifteen minutes later a Millbrae attack down the right saw a neat inside pass open up the Stewartry defence to score a second try. The Millbrae fight back was complete when near the end they scored a third try to go ahead for the first time. The conversion was added and with the score at 17-13 Stewartry needed a try to win in the last six minutes.
The referee marched Millbrae back towards their line as they argued their cause but the defence held firm and Stewartry could not break through.
STEWARTRY SQUAD. J Picken, S Carson, J Muir, T J McCarney, S Milligan, J Fingland, J Farquhar, S Broll,
D Burton, I McMorran, A Kerr, R Porteous(capt), J Kerr, D Thomson, A Lindsay, S McCulloch, R Cunningham. This week Stewartry are away to Paisley. Meet Market Hill 11am kick off 3pm