Wellington boot for the U18 club side
STEWARTRY U18 ....................................17 AYR/WELLINGTON U18 .........................34 Stewartry were involved in a tremendous WestYouth Cup tie at Greenlaw against Ayr despite only having 15 players compared to the Scottish Cup finalists’ squad of 22.
Despite Ayr having a huge advantage in the first half with the wind and being able to have a steady turnover of substitutes, the Blacks went in only 5-0 down at half time after a last minute try before the break.
Stewartry started the second half with only 14 fully fit players as hard working prop Connor McGuire was carrying a hamstring injury but soldiered on, managing to position himself cleverly to tackle where he could from a standing or walking position.
Lack of numbers did not deter Stewartry who quickly scored a great try following a forward break with Finlay Smith offloading to speed merchant Logan O’Malley who jinked and powered his way to score in the corner.
Archie Picken kicked over a sublime conversion.
Ayr were not to be outdone and scored another try to make it 10-7. Stewartry came straight back into the game and a superb break on the other wing saw Ali Woods outpace the Ayr defence to offload perfectly to Archie Picken to score on the other wing.
Once again Picken slotted over beautifully to take it 14-10 to Stewartry.
Stewartry’s fantastic defence and tackling kept Ayr at bay until the last 15 minutes when an infringement saw the Blacks have a player yellow carded and with Connor McGuire reduced to a limp from his earlier injury, this let Ayr back into the game with two converted tries taking it to 14-24 to Ayr.
With 10 minutes to go Stewartry came back with a penalty taking the score to 17-24, but being effectively two men down Stewartry lost another two unconverted tries before the end.
The robust Stewartry defence and superb attack was not enough and Ayr ran out 34-17 winners.
With a bigger squad of at least 19 it would be most disappointing if Stewartry do not beat a very good GHA at home.
As many supporters as possible would be welcome as this may be this great group’s last home game before they go their separate ways.
Stewartry can take some solace in the fact that Ayr were coached on the day by former ex Stewartry Shark Colin Duck and managed by another former Shark, Stuart Fenwick.
Man of the Match was the hard working second row FinTelfer, with special mention to Connor McGuire for never giving up despite his early injury.
Stewartry tries: 1 – Logan O’Malley, Archie Picken. Penalties: 1 – Archie Picken. Conversions: 2 – Archie Picken.
Ayr tries: 6. Conversions: 2. Stewartry Andy Budde (captain), Lochie Spence, Connor McGuire, Ryan Cochrane, Gregor Todd, Oskar Kapron, Finlay Smith, Tom Allan, Finlay Telfer, Archie Nicolson, Logan O’Malley, Ryan Kerr, Alistair Wood, Pacey Ho, Archie Picken.