Close Cut Game Finishes in 3 point Win For Stewartry Under 18’s

What an utterly scintillating game of rugby was served up by old rivals Stewartry and Cumnock.  Perhaps it was fate that the coach’s were discussing the rarity of 0-0 draws and 3- 0 wins these days.  It was such a shame that their had to be a loser in this one but Stewartry just sneaked it with a long range penalty 8 minutes from time.

Cumnock Under 18’s – 0

Stewartry Under 18’s – 3

For the first 10 minutes of the game Cumnock owned the ball but were unable to get out of their own half by constant Stewartry pressure and great tackling.  The show was soon on the other foot though as Stewartry slowly gained possession and moved into Cumnock’s half only to be pinned down by fierce tackling again.  The Stewartry Scrum held firm on the 3G pitch against a powerful Cumnock pack and after a stuttering start Stewartry started to win good lineout ball.  Connor McGuire showed great pace at prop over short distances, and put in a number of superb tackles.  Archie Nicolson returning at Scrum Half got very quick ball out to Lochie Spence who has a superb game at Stand Off, showing great strength in the tackle and making great ground on breaks and by great kicks to touch.


The second half started better than the first for Stewartry with more pressure on the Cumnock defence with good use of the boot over the back line, however tackling was of the highest standard all day and Cumnock were not going to have their try line breached.  Substitutions were made with Frazer Potts coming on at 2nd Row and showing great strength making a number of good breaks as surprisingly not losing the ball in contact.  Gregor Todd replaced Alistair Wood on the wing with both players doing their jobs very well in defence when required.  Archie Nicolson swapped position with Finlay Smith at Scrum Half to try and vary the pattern of play, but stout defence still kept Stewartry out.


Into the last ten to fifteen minutes and Cumnock had a great spell of possession, and managed to barge over the Stewartry Try line only to be held up (just) by quick thinking from Kieren McGuire.  Good, sensible forward play and excellent ball retention enabled Stewartry to crawl back up to the 25m line and a great kick by Lochie Spence put Stewartry right back in the Cumnock half.


A forced infringement by Cumnock with 8 minutes on the clock gave Stewartry a long range penalty chance from around 35m to 40m out.  Borgue’s own Archie Picken coolly stepped up and slotted it right down the middle and with plenty to spare.  0-3 to Stewartry.


New cap Ben Perkins made his debut on the wing, and Murray Wright came off having played a tremendous defensive game at centre.  The other Borgue man Ryan Cochrane played his best rugby in the last 5 minutes of the came and twice took the ball on storming runs into the Cumnock 25.  Gregor Hamblin who had an excellent game in both defence and attack kept up the pressure on Cumnock and the clock was run right down.  It was left to Captain Andy Budde to kick the ball into touch to end an amazing and highly entertaining game of rugby with a narrow win for the might blacks.


All credit to Stewartry Coach Andy Milligan, Cumnock Coach Morton Houston for producing two great teams and all our friends at Cumnock RFC who we always seem to have a close game with.  Such a shame for either team to lose, and I have no doubt that the game was being watched over by Stewartry Sharks founding father the late Dr Jim (Jimbo) Duck who would have been thrilled and definitely would have said that tonight “RUGBY WAS THE WINNER”.


Stewartry Squad:


Murray Wright

Finlay Smith

Archie Picken

Alistair Wood

Andrew Budde

Connor McGuire

Gregor Todd

Gregor Hamblin

Alasdair Hannay

Brady Rutherford

Ryan Cochrane

Archie Nicolson

Lochlann Spence

Ben Spence

Ben Perkins

Frazer Potts

Kieren McGuire

Tom Allan


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