Tough shift for depleted squad
A small Stewartry squad of 15 faced a hard task taking on a full squad of 22 from Strathaven who have a great home record.
Strathaven had possession for the first five minutes but, after that, Stewartry settled down and played most of the first half in the home 22.
Only superb, tough defending kept the Blacks from scoring on a number of occasions.
The game was played on a 3G surface and the bounce often caught out Stewartry resulting in two tries and one conversion to the home team just at the end of the first half.
Stewartry winger Logan O’Malley went off 10 minutes before half time with a badly dislocated finger.
But after some manipulation by a Strathaven senior player in the clubhouse and some heavy strapping he managed to play the second half. All credit to the new winger.
Stewartry kept the pressure on in the second half and were rewarded half way through by a fine breakthrough try and conversion by Lochie Spence.
The visitors kept the pressure up for another score but were again denied by stout Strathaven defence.
The Blacks then went down to 14 players as first the ever present Pacey Ho went off with a knee injury on the hard surface then 13 with Tom Allan taking a knock to the jaw.
Strathaven took full advantage of the absence of subs and scored two tries and two conversions in the last 10 minutes to take the game out of Stewartry’s reach.
Stewartry lost another player, Alistair Wood, near the end with a head knock. With only 12 players it was an impossible task to come back.
However, at home and with a full squad it will be a much different picture when the teams meet again in November. Man of the match was the powerful ball carrying Ryan Kerr. Stewartry scorers: Lochie Spence - one try and a conversion Squad: Andrew Budde; Connor McGuire; Finlay Telfer; Grant Waugh; Gregor Todd; Lochlann Spence; Logan O’Malley; Luke Thomson; Oskar Kapron; Pacey Ho; Ryan Kerr; Tom Allan; Finlay Smith.