Stewartry’s first league visit to Clydebank since 1989 saw them come from behind to take a narrow win over the side placed second bottom in RBS West Division Two.
Their previous trip had seen them win 9-6 and they were confident after beating Clydebank 42-7 at Greenlaw in September, but they were looking to stop the rot after three away defeats in a row.
And the hosts fancied their chance of an upset right from the start as, on probably the best pitch Stewartry will play on all season, the Blacks had two penalties awarded against them in the first two minutes. Clydebank kicked their advantage to the touchline, winning the line-outs and putting early pressure on the Blacks.
After only four minutes, Clydebank were in for the opening try when, from a scrum on the left, they passed the ball along a speedy backline to score an easy try out on the right with not a Stewartry hand on the Red shirts.
The Blacks hit back with a break involving Swalwell, Ian Fenwick and Mosey before a Fingland knock-on stopped the move. From the scrum the Blacks swung through 90 degrees to gain possession and the put in, a ploy that was to work a number of times in the first half as Tommy Cannon led his first charge of the day with McCulloch, Swalwell and Fenwick in support.
A third penalty to Clydebank put fullback Fenwick under a bit of pressure before the danger was cleared. After 16 minutes Stewartry were penalised for a fourth time, bringing a warning from the referee, and it took a massive kick from Robert Wallace to clear the danger.
After 23 minutes Clydebank were stopped on the Stewartry line after they took a quick penalty and while the Blacks won the scrum, a poor clearance to touch gave Clydebank a line-out five metres from their line, a clean catch and drive giving them their second try.
Five minutes later a Stewartry penalty was kicked from halfway to the corner by Fenwick. From the line-out Swalwell took off towards the posts before offloading to prop Tommy Cannon who, at full speed, crashed through the tackles to score. Cammy Fenwick added the conversion.
Another penalty to Clydebank came to nothing before yet another saw the Reds kick to the corner and repeat their earlier score with a catch and drive to lead 15-7 at half-time.
The second half started with a Fenwick penalty from the 10-metre line just missing the target. Danny Boyd made a good break but the chip ahead was wasted before Stewartry were penalised again. They were starting to make some chances with Porteous, McMinn and McMorran to the fore but a quick penalty chance on the Clydebank five-metre line was thrown away.
The pressure finally paid off after an hour when the weekly push-over scrum saw captain Ian Fenwick touch down for his 13th try of the season. Brother Cammy added the conversion to let Stewartry close to within a point.
The chance was there to save the game and Fenwick, Mosey, Boyd and McMinn forced a penalty out of the Clydebank defence, some backchat to the referee giving Stewartry an extra 10 metres towards the Clydebank posts and a kicking chance. Cammy Fenwick stepped up and calmly added the three points to put Stewartry ahead for the first time in the game.
With seven minutes to go Stewartry tweaked their defence for the final onslaught but the Bankies won another penalty kick. The Bankies kicker had had a poor day and once again missed his kick.
A mark called and a safe kick to touch from John Fingland brought the final whistle and Stewartry knew they had got out of jail against a team who, on this performance, would appear to be in a false league position.
Stewartry squad: C Fenwick, A Kerr, Danny Boyd, J Farquhar, J Fingland, C Mosey, R Wallace, I McMorran, D Burton, T Cannon, R Porteous, M Smith, P Swalwell, S McCulloch, I Fenwick (captain), S Broll, L Henderson, K McMinn. All subs used.