Peebles pressure not quite enough
Peebles have had a strong start to the season and look in with a shout of promotion from National League Two, writes Jo Wallace.
Having lost their last three games back-to-back, the Reds of Newton Stewart were hoping for a strong performance in front of their home crowd.
They got off to a great start when flanker Calum seared over the line early on for the opening try. His brother Jack missed the conversion but slotted a penalty five minutes later to make it 8-0.
A long spell of Peebles attack followed. The Reds defended solidly, initially, but the visitors utilised the wind and their scrum dominance well, eventually bagging an unconverted try.
Ten minutes passed with more sustained Peebles pressure. Again, there was tireless defence from Newton Stewart. But Peebles’ persistence paid off and, with half an hour gone, they surged ahead 8-12.
Jack Gaw narrowed the gap to 11-12 after Peebles were penalised for not releasing.
Five minutes later, Newton Stewart burst through the Peebles defences once again with a full-stretch try from Calum Gaw, which went unconverted.
The rest of the half was played out on the Newton Stewart try line as Peebles looked for a retaliatory score.
Their scrum was dominating the Reds and they used this to their advantage, eventually being awarded a penalty try to finish the half at 16-19.
After the interval, Newton Stewart put themselves under unnecessary pressure right away with some poor kicking.
This was compounded five minutes later when prop Liam Brawls was shown a yellow card.
Under the cosh, the Reds lifted their game. After a successful penalty, some strong running set up a try for stand-off David Gaw to add to the family points tally. Jack’s conversion kick cruelly bounced off the post.
Newton Stewart had some sustained possession and pressure but struggled to find their way through the solid Peebles defence.
However, with Peebles back in possession and throwing a pass wide, Fraser Morton intercepted the ball and sped off down the pitch to score the bonus point try for the Reds under the posts.
The goal extras made it 28-22 with 10 minutes left.
There was a nervous finale for both sides, with Peebles gaining some possession but trying in vain to find their way through for a late upset.