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Men’s 1XV v Dunfermline | Match Report

Senior Men (1st XV) | 14th Dec 2023

After a week of cancelled games due to bad weather, Stewartry were back in action on Saturday
as they hosted a strong Dunfermline side at Greenlaw and came away with a hard-fought 40-26

In the reverse fixture earlier on in the season, Dunfermline ran away 45-13 winners at home but
two late tries from Sandy Currie’s men ensured that Stewartry took the spoils this time around.

The opening exchanges in a rain-soaked Castle Douglas were cagey, with both sides struggling
to find an advantage in the game, giving away a number of early penalties for high tackles and

It was the home side that drew first blood, however, through fullback John Picken who dotted
down a well-worked overlap in the right-hand corner to open the scoring.

The two sides then traded penalties and, right on the stroke of halftime, the visitors crashed
over the line for a try from a driving maul to lead the game 13-8 going into the break.

The Blacks scored first in the second half through prop forward Ash Mathias who carried hard
from a ruck five metres out, bumping off two defenders before diving over under the posts to
level the game before Picken added the extras.

In the following 20 minutes, Steartry and Dunfermline then traded two penalties each once
again to set up a nail-biting finish for the last 10 minutes with just two points separating the

Stewartry vice-captain TJ McCarney took matters into his own hands as he took a pop ball from
the back of the ruck to slice through the heart of the Dunfermline defence and round the fullback
to score his eighth try of the season and give Stewartry some breathing room.

Just three minutes later, scrumhalf Archie Nicolson grabbed the bonus point try for the
Greenlaw men and all but secured the home-soil victory.

Dunfermline hit back with a try in the 78th minute to plant the seed of doubt in the Stewartry
supporters’ heads but they held strong, putting the icing on the cake with a fifth try in injury time.

Picken received a long ball over the top on the left wing and forced his way over the line for his
second of the afternoon. The fullback scored 25 of the 40 points with two tries, three
conversions and three penalties to his name.

Stewartry remain fifth in the National 4 league table, just one point behind fourth-placed North
Berwick, who they have already beaten once this season and still yet to play again.

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