Sep 21 2012 by Lizzie Smith, Kilmarnock Standard
Kilmarnock made it three wins from three games when they beat Newton Stewart on Saturday.
Kicking into a crosswind, Kilmarnock forced a lineout midway in the home half which was won by number eight Gordon Laurie. The ball was handled through nine and 10 with centre Stuart Pratt bursting through and passing to fellow centre Johnny Bradford, who raced over the goal line for a try converted by Colin Sturgeon.
From the restart, a squint put in gave Kilmarnock the first scrum which was wheeled and forced a knock on.
Turnover ball was won by Laurie and moved along the backline with Sean Christie setting up Stuart Pratt, the centre burst through and passed to flanker McKenzie Pearce who touched down for Kilmarnock’s second try. The conversion made the score 14-0 after 14 minutes.
Newton Stewart restarted and won a penalty which was missed from 25 metres and the drop out 22 was kicked long into home territory. Another turnover was won by Kilmarnock but broke down with another knock on.
Both teams shared possession, with Kilmarnock conceding too many penalties and Newton Stewart unable to convert possession into points.
Kilmarnock added a third try after Laurie stole possession at the tail of the lineout, straight out the backline with captain Johnny Bradford racing passed the defence and drawing the fullback, winger Ruraidh Cuthbertson raced to the posts. Sturgeon converted 21-0 midway through the half.
Newton Stewart held possession from the restart and won a penalty to edge closer to the Kilmarnock goal line. The home forwards mounted a number of attacks with Cuthbertson making a try-saving tackle .
A turnover soon relieved the pressure, however Newton Stewart won yet another penalty which found Kilmarnock prop Barry McKay sin binned for 10 minutes. Sean Christie and Dave McLeod substituted for Kilmarnock.
Two minutes later, Kilmarnock were reduced to 13 men when McKenzie Pearce was sin binned for a deliberate knock on.
Kilmarnock were unable to hold out a Newton Stewart try scored and converted for 21-7 on the half hour.
In the closing minutes, Barry McKay along with Sean Christie returned and Kilmarnock won a scrum in midfield, Gordon Laurie picked up at number eight, out to Christie who barged through the centre and passed to the Bradford who scored below the posts. Colin Sturgeon added the conversion to stretch the lead 28-7, the fourth try bonus point was secured.
Young Sam Diamond came on at flanker for Kilmarnock as they eased to half-time.
Kilmarnock were soon under pressure in the second half as the home side tried to salvage the deficit. A turnover ball gave Newton Stewart a lineout 15m from the Kilmarnock line, the ball was won at the tail and two passes later, centre Mark McCornick breezed through for an easy try which was converted by fullback Wilson to make it 28-14.
Newton Stewart were now robust in their attacks with Kilmarnock on the back foot. Substitutes John Brown and McKenzie Pearce replaced Sean Christie and Kieran Grant.
The home side forced another lineout deep in the Kilmarnock 22 and a catch and drive produced a third try in the corner to narrow the scoreline 28-19. Newton Stewart substitute flanker Ben Haigh was exposing the Kilmarnock defence.
Kilmarnock responded with limited success until Bradford broke out from his own 22 area and released Cuthbertson, who raced into the opposite half. A line out win saw Pearce win a penalty which Sturgeon slotted from 40 metres. The score was 31-19 with 10 minutes left to play.
Coach Robbie Stewart made further substitutions as did Newton Stewart when Haigh was injured.
Kilmarnock had the final say as Newton Stewart pressed home another attack and were turned over, Bradford sprinted 30m from the halfway line defying tackles to pass to winger Cuthbertson who ran in for the final try.
Coach Stewart will want to address his team’s shortcomings before GHK visit Bellsland this Saturday. Kick-off is 3pm.