Match Report v Newton Stewart Sat 11/04/15
Home Bonus Point Win
Kilmarnock triumph in a well contested relegation battle with a try scoring bonus point.
Kilmarnock played host to visitors Newton Stewart at Bellsland last Saturday in a match which had the home crowd on tenterhooks.
The lighter weight visitors had much of the possession in the opening exchanges and took the lead with a penalty after the Kilmarnock backline were caught offside after nine minutes. Kilmarnock rallied to the cause and for the next fifteen minutes contested well in defence with the occasional attacking move.
A penalty saw Scott Brown kick into the visitor’s twenty two area with John Brown hoisted to win the lineout. Greg Andrews at number eight broke up the blind side and linked with Scott Brown at stand-off who passed inside to fullback Ally McWhirter who took the ball at pace and linked with winger Andy Ferguson who raced in to score the opening try at the posts. Scott Brown converted to the delight of the home crowd 7-3 Kilmarnock in the lead after twenty five minutes.
The sense of relief was almost palpable.
After the restart the sun broke out into the eyes of the Kilmarnock side who were penalised in quick succession and the visiting stand-off slotted a 25metre penalty to reduce the scoreline 7-6.
Kilmarnock’s restart kick was fielded but the clearance kick went out on the full to give a lineout to Kilmarnock. The ball was won and moved with Sam Diamond unlucky to knock on in full flight.
The visitors moved the ball along their backline with Kilmarnock stealing possession as the ball was thrown forward, Kilmarnock moved the ball wide with a certain try on the cards only to be pulled back for a penalty and a yellow card to a Newton Stewart player.
Scott Brown missed the penalty attempt and the second half came to a close. Kilmarnock 7-6 ahead.
The second half resumed with Newton Stewart kicking off and Kilmarnock forced play into the visitor’s territory with Chris Milligan advancing play. A penalty was won and Scott Brown kicked to the corner and from the lineout catch and drive hooker Jordan Duncan scored a try. The touchline conversion was missed but Kilmarnock got the quick score they required. With the man advantage Kilmarnock tried that little bit too hard and a number of errors were made, two turnovers in quick succession and a similar number of penalties ensued. Dave McLeod replaced Liam McLean at prop and following a Newton Stewart forward pass Kilmarnock had a scrum 30 metres from goal. The ball was won and Craig McWhirter took the ball in the centre, wing forward Curran McMillan sold a dummy and released winger Chris Milligan who beat three men to race over for a converted try. Scott Brown made the conversion to give Kilmarnock a 19-6 lead midway through the half.
If there was any pressure on the home side to score the fourth bonus point try then it did not show.
Andy Paxton replaced hooker Jordan Duncan and the pack was reshuffled to suit. Patience is a virtue and Kilmarnock stuck to the task and several minutes later they won a penalty which was kicked over the dead ball area to give the visitors a drop out twenty two. The visitors won a lineout which Kilmarnock stole, the ball was moved to the backline and centre Ally Smith cut back inside beating two men and was tackled short of the line but managed to stretch over for the fourth try with people out of their seats in the stand.
Scott Brown converted to give Kilmarnock a healthy lead 26-6 with ten minutes remaining.