Tennent's National Three



By Danny McGreish

IN early September, Newton Stewart narrowly beat Accies in injury-time, so Stuart Lamont and his men would be looking to reverse that defeat and indeed they did.

On Saturday, Accies gained a well deserved victory over the current league leaders and dented their hopes of finishing the year at the top of the table.

With a combination of the conditions and positional changes to the Accies team, this was always going to be a tight game rather than an open, expansive one. Credit, however to both teams as they served up an absorbing contest.

Making a return after a long period of injury for Acccies were Calum McKechnie and club captain Ben Hamilton.

For the first 10 minutes, Accies dominated possession and territory which had the visitors on the back foot and defending desperately.

A typical Andy Duncan break in 12 minutes very nearly brought Accies' first points, but the ball was taken into touch five metres from the try line. From the lineout the visiting stand-off tried a chip over the home three-quarters, but Kyle Wood intercepted the kick and romped in for the first of the home scores. Lewis converted.

The home pack was giving their opposite eight a torrid time at the scrum. Inevitably, the Newton Stewart defence cracked and the referee awarded a penalty try for collapsing a driving maul .

On the half hour, Newton Stewart opened their account when a high ball was spilled by the Accies and a kick and chase took play deep into the home 22 where the visitors were awarded an attacking scrum. James Wallace picked up at the base of the scrum and went in for the try. Fraser Morton converted.

The visitors werr having their best spell and in 40 minutes tight head prop Richard Fiskin picked up at a ruck and touched down. The conversion was missed.

In 50 minutes, Accies broke into the visitors' 22 where they were awarded a scrum. As before, they drove their opponents back and were awarded a penalty. Opting for another scrum, the visiting pack disintegrated under Accies' drive and Kyle McNulty was on hand to pick up and score Accies' third try. The conversion was missed.

Newton Stewart added another three points after Fraser Morton kicked a 35 metre penalty.

Accies scored their fourth and bonus point score in 70 minutes after Nathan Welsh finished off a good move, Lewis converted.

Newton Stewart launched several attacks but couldn't penetrate the Accies defence.