Stewartry’s league season came to an end with a disappointing failure to break their duck at Garnock.
It was the 10th time the Blacks have made the trip to Lochshore since 1973 either on league business or in the Shield competition and they are yet to win.
Storm Freya’s icy blast did not help as Stewartry overcooked their start and Garnock worked their way upfield to score from a ruck following a penalty. The try was converted.
John Picken, at stand-off, sent Steele and Boyd away on a run but Garnock were soon back in possession forcing Spence to make a vital last-man tackle.
Some poor Blacks defence conceded a second try on ten minutes, although the extras were missed.
Eight minutes later a Garnock penalty found touch and, although a Steele tackle slowed the attack down, the third try was scored and converted.
The Blacks got into the game a bit more in the second quarter, Stevie McCulloch broke the line first then passed to Milligan to find touch. Steele, McGuire and McCarney made the most of possession won at the lineout to send Maxwell over but the try was disallowed, the referee unsighted. Stewartry brought Tommy Cannon and Andrew Wilsonon after the interval. A reshuffle of John Picken moved back into scrum half and John Muir taking up the number 10 shirt.
Forty eight minutes in and passions erupted with both teams taking on each other without the ball as the referee lost control.
Garnock continued to hold the upper hand, however, grabbing a fourth bonus point try, unconverted, on the hour .
Stewartry’s Taylor was injured and replaced by Steven Hogg, on another comeback, along with Murray Wright with fifteen minutes to go. Hogg was soon in the action making a number of charging runs resulting in him scoring at the posts . John Picken added the conversion, 24-7.
Storm Freya redoubled her efforts in the last ten minutes unleashing a dowpour that had the spectators scurrying for their cars on the hill leaving the players to get on with it.
Garnock broke away twice scoring try number five with the referee awarding them a penalty try with the last play of the game for a full time score of 36-7 ending a hard season for the Blacks.
Stewartry have used forty six players in 23 games with a hard core of sixteen led by ever presents captain John Fingland and vice captain John Picken under club coach Sandy Currie.
Stewartry squad, all used: J Fingland (C), J Muir, TJ McCarney, D Boyd, S Milligan, J Picken, B Moratti, M McCulloch, K McGuire, I McMorran, D Maxwell, D Steele, M Taylor, B Spence, S McCulloch, T Cannon, S Hogg, A Wilson, M Wright.