Newton Stewart kick-started their first foray into National League Division 2 with an entertaining 13-13 draw away to old rivals Glasgow Accies.
The two teams have had several close encounters over the years and that proved the case again this time round.
The opening exchanges saw Glasgow Accies with the bulk of the possession, but Newton Stewart defended well and struck first when superb skill by scrum-half Robbie McCornick sent winger Jamie Muir tearing up the line. He was stopped by some good covering defence, but the ball was recycled quickly and stand-off David Gaw found his way over the line for the opening try. The conversion was an uncharacteristically missed by Jack Gaw.
However when a high tackle gave the Reds a penalty and Gaw another shot at goal, this time he found the target to put Newton Stewart 8-0 ahead.
With only minutes to go in the first half Accies went on the attack from the restart. The utilised their pacy backs well for Ross Cowan to find a chink the Red wall in the far corner. An excellent conversion kick narrowed the gap to 8-7 at half time.
After the break Newton Stewart came out all guns blazing. A superb 1-2 between Morton brother Fraser and Russell cut through the Accies defence, and Fraser finished the move to extend the lead.
But five minutes later the Reds were penalised within the Accies half and the hosts kicked the penalty to keep the pressure on.
Glasgow Accies pressurised for long spells now running the ball wherever they could with Newton Stewart defending mightily and tearing up the pitch when they stole possession.
With less than five minutes Accies kicked a penalty to touch, keen to get the win rather than the draw. Newton Stewart defended their line with everything they had but gave away another penalty whioch this time Accies kicked to square the match.
This Saturday Newton Stewart take on Hamilton in their first home game, for which the club hopes to to welcome a large crowd to Bladnoch Park, Kick-off is 3pm.