Senior Men (1st XV) | 4th Sep 2023
Stewartry RFC kicked off life in the newly-formed National 4 with a well-fought win over Strathmore at Greenlaw. Flyhalf John Picken slotted a penalty in overtime to steal the game and secure a 30-29 victory.
It was the away side that started the stronger, putting Stewartry under pressure at the breakdown and winning a penalty just five minutes into the game. Strathmore kicked to the corner and drove over for the opening try of the game.
Sandy Currie’s men initially seemed to struggle with the new tackle height laws, giving away a number of penalties and allowing Strathmore some momentum. 19 minutes in, however, they found their feet and scored their first try of the season through captain Angus Lindsay.
Strathmore came back with an answer straight away, scoring just 3 minutes later to lead the game once again. John Picken added two penalties, either side of a Strathmore score, which took the two sides into halftime with the visitors leading 15-13.
From the kickoff, Strathmore spotted a gap in the Blacks’ defensive line and ran through to score their fourth. Stewartry hit back in the 45th minute, scrumhalf Archie Nicholson latched onto an offload from Lindsay 15 metres out and barrelled his way over the line under the sticks.
15 minutes later they were in again. Lochy Spence danced his way around a couple of defenders on the left wing to dive over and give Stewartry a five-point lead going into the final 20.
Despite receiving a yellow card, the Forfar side put together a good passage of play from close range and scored in the corner on the 70th-minute mark. The touchline conversion was made and Strathmore led 29-27 with just minutes to go.
With the clock in the red, Stewartry were awarded a penalty 40 metres out. Last season’s captain John Picken stepped up and drilled the ball through the posts to win the game by just a single point.
Stewartry sits midtable after one game played and will look to make it two wins from two when they head to Perthshire for their first away game of the season next weekend.
A Mathias, K McGuire, I McMorran,
D Maxwell, T McLean,
F Gibson, A Lindsay (capt), F Telfer,
A Nicholson, J Picken, L Spence, T J McCartney (VC), S Tait, A Moffat, R Sanderson.
M McCulloch, C Walker, S McCulloch, S Sithole.