Carrick RFC 22 – 39 Newton Stewart RFC


Carrick RFC 22 – 39 Newton Stewart RFC
BT West Division 1
Saturday 24th April 2016

An impressive number of extremely vocal supporters travelled to Maybole to watch the final game of the season for Newton Stewart last weekend. With Glasgow Accies having secured the league title the previous week, this was essentially a play off for second place, with whichever team won this game securing the runners-up spot.

The early minutes of play were dominated by Newton Stewart. Setting up a driving maul on the ten metre line, back row David Montgomery displayed the skill he has perfected this season, steering the ball over the line from close range.

Following the restart, Newton Stewart came back on the attack once more. Keeping possession they built a good platform of pressure and slowly worked their way up the pitch. Hitting a great line, hooker Thomas MacDonald found a gap in the defence to score a second try in ten minutes and give the Reds’ supporters something to cheer about. Stand off Jamie Muir was unable to convert either try and the score was 0-10.

Continuing their attacking style of play, Newton Stewart maintained the pressure on Carrick. With the defensive line feeling the strain, cracks began to show and an infringement by the home team resulted in a penalty for Newton Stewart. Muir was able to find his target this time and extend the lead to 0-13.

Once again the restart allowed Carrick only brief possession before the Reds stole the ball once more and came on the attack. With quick hands they passed the ball wide; only a fumble of the final pass to fullback Tyrell Wilson preventing another score.

At long last Carrick had an opportunity to put some phases together. Initially Newton Stewart were able to keep the home team at bay with some impressive tackling, however some incisive running by their back line eventually made space for their outside centre to cross the line. The stand off converted to bring the score to 7-13.

Newton Stewart took control of the game once more, but a missed penalty from Muir, followed by a held up try for captain William McCornick meant the score was unchanged.

With half an hour on the clock however, back row Mark McCornick ran a great line at pace to skip through the middle of the Carrick defence and score under the posts. Only two minutes later, brother William found his way over the line again from close range to add a try of his own. Muir converted the first of these tries to extend the lead to 7-25.

Five minutes before the end of the first half Newton Stewart were penalised for holding on. The kicker found his target once more, keeping the team in the game at 10-25.

With the first half having been been heavily dominated by the Reds, the home team needed to come out fighting after the break to avoid a drubbing. To their credit they did exactly that.

The early minutes saw Carrick dominate the possession and only two colossal tackles by scrum half Robbie McCornick kept them at bay. Ultimately Carrick were penalised for crossing, and Newton Stewart were able to clear their lines.

Only a few minutes passed before Carrick offended again, but not before Reds stand off Muir preempted the move and took out his man off the ball. The referee showed him a yellow card and Newton Stewart were reduced to fourteen players for ten minutes.

Carrick would sense an opportunity to make their mark on the game, however their visitors refused to allow them any chances and instead closed all the doors in their defensive line. Not only that, but minutes later the Reds came on the attack once more. Mark McCornick showed great pace as he ran up the left side of the pitch before passing inside to centre Liam Brawls who finished the move to score under the posts. With Muir still sitting in the sin-bin, inside centre David Sommerville temporarily took over kicking duties and converted.

The next fifteen minutes were the most balanced of the game. Possession alternated between the sides, and both made some excellent breaks without finding gaps in the defensive lines.

With fifteen minutes left to play, Newton Stewart were camped on the Carrick try line once more. The ball was spilled only a few metres short of the line and was collected by the Carrick winger who ran the full length of the pitch to score an excellent opportunistic try which was converted.

Newton Stewart had a scrappy ten minutes, and gave Carrick a few chances. They needed little invitation to run at their opponents and only a few minutes later scored again via their other winger. With only ten points in it now, the Reds’ strong support found themselves feeling anxious for the first time in the game.

Carrick had their heads up and nothing to lose. Exploiting their renowned pace, they ran repeatedly at the Newton Stewart defence. Some resilient tackling kept them out, and two strong scrums from the Reds saw their opponents penalised to allow Newton Stewart possession once more. With only a few minutes left on the clock, the game finished as it had started, with Montgomery bulldozing his way over the line to score. Muir made his final kick; final score 22-39.

Man of the match in this exhilarating game was scrum half Robbie McCornick. His defensive effort was exemplary, making some huge tackles and controlling the game with some well placed kicking and quick thinking.

This has been the best ever finish for Newton Stewart RFC and the coaching staff can be thrilled with the performances of their team this year.

Head coach Martin Wallace said, “I am absolutely delighted to finish the season with arguably one of our best performance of the year. It has been an exceptional season for the team. Hard work and commitment have made it something the club can be extremely proud of.’

Commendable team spirit and well rehearsed plays have been instrumental in producing these results. The bar is certainly set high for next year.

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