Club News | 7th Dec 2022
P6/7 Match Report – 4 Dec 2022
Stewartry Sharks welcomed their Galloway neighbours Newton Stewart and Wigtownshire to the frozen wastes of Greenlaw on Sunday morning.
It was a great turn out for the home team, with 25 P6 and P7’s running out for the club – despite a good few players not able to make it. In contrast, both Newton Stewart and Wigtownshire struggled to raise full teams to travel over on the day, but what they lacked in quantity, they more than made up in quality, competing as a combined Galloway team (plus a few Stewartry players to make up the numbers). A round robin tournament was set up with Stewartry Black, Stewartry White and Galloway teams.
The first fixture saw Stewartry Black pitted against Galloway, with both teams competing hard and showing their running and offloading game to good effect. Matthew’s sidestepping opened up some big gaps in the Galloway defence, with Rhys, Rory and Aiden able to make some positive forward runs resulting in some early scores for the home side. Galloway fought back though, using the width of the pitch to good effect with some excellent passing leading to scores out wide for the visitors. As the game wore on, the visitors were finding more and more gaps in the Stewartry line, enabling some further scores. However, the introduction of Zander shored up the defence in midfield with Will, and with Lily bagging and tagging opposition players out wide, the tide turned and Stewartry were able to dominate the scoreboard and take the win. A special mention to Gregor, Arthur and Callum, who joined the Galloway team for the game and got stuck into their teammates with gusto!
Galloway stayed on the pitch for the second game, taking on the Stewartry White team. The physicality of the Stewartry team was immediately apparent, with direct running from Cameron, Rory, Ciaran and Murray causing problems for the visitors defence. However, the Galloway team didn’t back down and hit back with some well worked tries. Due to the cold conditions, chilly fingers seemed to create a phenomenon whereby the players seemed unable to pass the ball at all – it must have been frozen to the player’s hands! After some encouragement from the sidelines, hands thawed and there were some there was some excellent team handling, resulting in scores from across the team including a selfless pass from Ciaran to send Annie galloping over the line for a gorgeously worked team try, capping off a strong overall performance. Again, a big shout out to the players who stepped across and divide to play for the Galloway team.
The third match saw a battle of the home teams, with the two Stewartry teams lining up against each other, competing for bragging rights at next week’s training session. With players struggling with the low temperatures, the game was somewhat of a scrappy affair, with a lot of bobbling balls and fumbles resulting from the competitive tackling and breakdown work from both teams. Credit goes to the Stewartry Black team, who had the majority of the P6 cohort in their ranks to keep the score competitive, but it was the Stewarty White team, with the majority of the P7’s, taking charge and running out winners.
The second round of matches saw the scratch Galloway team start to gel a bit more, with the players interacting and supporting more, and causing the less experienced Stewartry team problems in defence, with a number of their tries coming from the next generation of the Gaw and Fisher rugby dynasties. Despite this, the moment of the morning was about to be witnessed by the crowd, with a delightful show-and-go from Zander opening up a gap which he accelerated through and drawing the defence before popping a Finn Russell inspired offload out of the back of the hand to allow Lily a free run to the line. The match finished with Galloway taking the win, and was a well deserved result after the commitment both 10 players who travelled from Newton Stewart and Wigtownshire showed on the day.
The final game of the morning saw the semi-frozen Stewartry White team take to the field again, against a tiring Galloway team who despite near hypothermia conditions never gave up and made it a contest right through to the final whistle. Once again, the Stewartry team ran out winners, albeit narrowly, after another compelling game with both teams playing some superb running rugby and Tyler really standing out with his tackling in this match.
Well done to all the P6/7’s who took part, and to the coaches, referees and parents who came along to watch.
report by Ralph Spernagel