Newton Stewart 28

Peebles 22

Allan Beveridge

at Bladnoch Park

SOME days you just know your luck isn't in.

If the trip to Newton Stewart wasn't long enough, the A75 being closed with no diversions signs just added to what was an extremely long and winding road.

Although Peebles still arrived in plenty of time at the remote venue, an injury to Greg Raeburn during the warm-up gave further cause for concern and frustration.

And, just five minutes into the game, the hosts had raced into an 8-0 lead.

A Peebles forward pass inside their own 22 gave possession away and allowed the home number eight to pick up and feed his wing-forward for the try.

A penalty just a couple of minutes later put Newton Stewart in the driving-seat.

Only a defensive touchdown by full-back David Scott prevented the home team stretching their advantage after a kick through towards the winger.

The long journey appeared to have taken its toll on the Peebles team who looked sluggish throughout the first 20 minutes.

Fortunes started to change after Ross Thomson's quick penalty led to Callum Anderson darting over for a try.

And just five minutes later Peebles found themselves in front.

From a scrum, Thomson collected the ball from Keiran Brown's feet and he sprinted in from 10 metres.

Donald Anderson's conversion made it 12-8 to the visitors.

A home penalty reduced the margin.

And they retook the lead just after the half hour when the open-side wing forward touched down.

The successful conversion made it 16-12.

There was still time for some controversy before the interval.

With Peebles being awarded a penalty inside the home side's 22, they played out the advantage by being forced into touch just short of the line.

Unfortunately the referee deemed that enough advantage had been played and ordered the home throw in.

Thankfully for the travelling support, Peebles managed to win back possession and after several collapsed scrums were awarded a penalty try.

At 19-16 it looked as though Peebles had overcome their sluggish start to take command.

But Newtown Stewart were to have other ideas in the second half.

Murray Brown was denied by a last gasp tackle in the 41st minute before Raeburn, who came on for the second half, slotted a penalty.

Newton Stewart were then reduced to 14 players following dissent from the pack.

But Peebles couldn't capitalise on the numerical superiority.

Midway through the second half some poor defending allowed the home team to add another try.

With the conversion hitting the upright, Peebles managed to hold a one-point lead.

But it wasn't to last long.

In the 70th minute Newton Stewart scored their bonus point try through an interception by their centre.

The successful conversion gave the home team their 28-22 scoreline.

A losing bonus point was all Peebles had to show for this long day out.

They did not start well and despite being on top at the scrummage they were second to a lot of loose ball.

Newton Stewart were a good outfit and they will take points from a lot of visiting teams, but Peebles should win the return at The Gytes.

Tomorrow Peebles are back on the road again with another long trip, this time to Ardrossan in the Cup.