Newton Stewart RFC 60 - 12 Kilmarnock RFC
BT West Division 1
10th September 2016
Newton Stewart RFC played hosts to Kilmarnock RFC on Saturday in their third league match of the season. Conditions could not have been better for the day and the sunshine drew a good crowd of spectators out.
Kilmarnock had the early possession following the kick-off and pushed up the pitch towards the Newton Stewart try line. The defensive line was put to the test immediately, but stood firm and weathered the early attack. With the first scrum of the game Newton Stewart showed their dominance up front. Securing possession they began to push upfield and after recycling the ball through multiple phases, prop William McCornick thundered over the line for the first score of the game. Stand off Jamie Muir’s conversion came agonisingly close, bouncing off the posts.
From the restart the ball went straight back to Newton Stewart hands and they started to attack once more. Kilmarnock cleared their lines initially, but following an immaculately timed steal in the line out, back row David Montgomery burst through the startled Kilmarnock defence to score. Muir found his target this time, 12-0.
The subsequent passage of play found the Reds camping on the Kilmarnock try line once more. A well rehearsed Newton Stewart line out move culminated in a rolling maul with prop Martin Wallace at the helm; the pack pushing over the line for Wallace to score. The conversion was from a wide angle and narrowly missed.
The remainder of the first half saw the ball to and fro a little down the pitch. Kilmarnock had spells of possession but seemed unable to convert their chances, where the Reds let none pass by. Montgomery scored twice more in the space of ten minutes to secure himself a hat-trick of tries, with Muir converting both to extend the lead to 31-0.
As the first half drew to a close the visitors pushed forward looking for some late points before the whistle, however centre Fraser Morton disappointed them when he picked up a dropped ball, enforced by a massive tackle from back row Jason McKie, before running the length of the pitch to score. Muir finished an excellent forty minutes of kicking by adding the extras once more. The second half began with Kilmarnock on the attack. Determined not to allow a whitewash result, the visitors used their pace to chase a clever kick through and score their first points of the game. Their kicker hit the target to bring the score to 38-7.
Settling themselves back into the game, Newton Stewart took possession from the line out and Jamie Muir produced an exceptional individual try, running a superb line through the defences and breaking tackles en route. He narrowly missed his own conversion kick, hitting the posts once more.
As the home side continued to dominate the game, and particularly the forwards battle, the referee awarded the Reds a free kick when the Kilmarnock pack repeatedly pushed too early. Montgomery took a quick tap and go, passing the ball out to fellow back row Euan Dewar to score in the corner.
With fifteen minutes to go, Newton Stewart didn’t let up. Craig Murray, on from the bench, flew up the left wing to swan dive over the line to put his name on the scoresheet.
Fellow winger Stuart MacAllister soon forced his way through some desperate tackles from the Kilmarnock defence to ensure he got in on the act too with a try under the posts. Muir converted the latter to bring the Newton Stewart points tally to sixty.
The final points of the game would go to the visitors however who took advantage of a missed tackle to force their way to a late try. Final score 60-12.
The Reds put on a confident display in this match, taking their chances when they presented themselves and dominating the set pieces. Full-back Tyrell Wilson, centre Fraser Morton and back row David Montgomery all put in noteworthy performances, but stand-off Jamie Muir was the stand out player with his impressive kicking game and a superb individual try.
Newton Stewart have secured three wins from three so far, and sit atop the league table currently. Next weekend they will travel to Annan RFC.