National Two round-up: Stew-Mel continue to build momentum

Dumfries Saints pick up their eighth consecutive league win at Newton Stewart to keep daylight between themselves and the chasing pack

Stewart's Melville picked up a big win over Gordonians at Inverleith. Image: Jax MacKenzie Photography
Stewart's Melville picked up a big win over Gordonians at Inverleith. Image: Jax MacKenzie Photography

STEWART’S MELVILLE have now scored 86 points in two matches in National Two and are up to fourth in the table after Saturday’s 39-0 triumph over Gordonians. In the first part of the campaign, the Inverleith men struggled for consistency, but their National League Cup win over high flying Dumfries Saints just over a fortnight ago has clearly got them on the front foot.

They won 47-5 at Whitecraigs last week and backed it up with another bonus point win at home to Gordonians 39-0. Ally Scott and Sean Murchie both scored two tries apiece while Scott Alldritt, Darren Miller and Charlie Simmonds also crossed the whitewash, with Euan Bowen kicking two conversions.

“Ally Scott, who is normally our development team captain, was outstanding,” said Stew-Mel head coach Jonny Else. “We had to make a few changes to the squad this week and it was pleasing to see the depth of our playing group being tested and a number of guys stepping up to the mark.”

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Gordonians could not back up last week’s win over Falkirk and are in 11th place in the table, while Stew Mel are 10 points behind leaders Dumfries Saints who battled hard to win away to old rivals Newton Stewart 6-15.

The league leaders had a tough start at Bladnoch Park, losing Andrew Whiteford got sin-binned and going behind to Jack Gaw kicking a penalty for the hosts. When Whiteford returned, captain Ewan Miller scored a try for Dumfries before a second Gaw penalty made it 6-5 to Newton Stewart. Miller scored his second try and Jack Steele converted to make it 12-6 to the visitors at half-time.

With 10 minutes of the match remaining Steele kicked a penalty for the Saints and they held on for their eighth win out of eight in the league.

“It was a hard fought win in tough conditions,” said Dumfries head coach Euan Mack. “We were happy to come away with four points.”

GHK are second, six points behind Dumfries, after their own bonus point win under lights on Friday evening. They defeated bottom side Whitecraigs 43-17, with Danny Campbell, Fergus Haston, Ben Hutton, Gavin McKirdy, skipper Cammy Hughes, Ben Frame and Nick Hurn scoring tries for the victors. Jack Cuthbert kicked the rest of the points and was named man-of-the-match.

Kirkcaldy are third, one point behind GHK, after they gained revenge for their National League Cup defeat to Hamilton two weeks ago by defeating the Bulls 50-35.

Hamilton took an early lead in Fife, but two converted tries through skipper Josh Laird and a penalty try put Kirkcaldy up 21-7 at the interval. Steve Milne, Greg Wallace, Thomas McKenzie and Rhys Bonner scored further tries with Craig Letham continuing his good form with the boot and it was 50-7 to Kirkcaldy after 64 minutes. In the last 16 minutes, Hamilton woke from their slumber to score 28 points and secure what had loosed like an unlikely four try bonus point.

“We controlled things for 64 minutes and then things changed,” said Kirkcaldy head coach Quintan Sanft. “I am still happy that we managed to put 50 points past a team that beat us two weeks ago, but the way we leaked tries at the end will be a lesson to some of our younger guys that you can never switch off in a game.”

Billy Simpson, Scott Alexander, Stephen Turnbull, Andrew Wilson and Gary Adams scored the Bulls tries with Owen McLeish kicking five conversions.

The defeat leaves them sixth in the table, just above Peebles, who let slip a half-time lead to lose 27-17 against fifth placed Preston Lodge at home.

Peebles were 17-15 after 40 minutes, with James Dow, Richard Harrison and David Collins bagging their tries, plus a conversion from Greg Raeburn, but the let it slip.

Glasgow Accies are now eight points clear of the bottom two after they toughed out a 13-10 victory over Falkirk at Horne Park. Rob McNaught scored a try and a penalty to put the visitors 8-0 up and when the same man went over for his second try it was 13-0 at half-time.

Alan Connolly and Duncan Scobie tries helped Falkirk fight back for a losing bonus point after the interval, but Accies held on.

“It was a cracking match for the neutral, end-to-end with some real physicality in defence from both teams,” said Accies head coach Andy Jackson. “The game could have gone Falkirk’s way and credit to them, but in recent weeks we have started to play rugby in the right areas of the pitch and begun to control games a bit better. This has helped build confidence throughout the squad and this victory will also help and we want to build from here.”

National League Division Two results  –


Table as it stands –

Stewart's Mel1815305202432772271
Dumfries Saints18135058227830410264
Newton Stewart191081333376-437251
Preston Lodge16961410339719246
Hamilton Bulls1881005494806910446
Glasgow Accies196121285524-2395132

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 175 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia