Newton Stewart 17-19 Falkirk: Dunc didn’t flunk winning conversion
A nerveless late conversion by Duncan Tompkins earned Falkirk a 19-17 league win at Newton Stewart on Saturday.
“The wind and rain were horrendous so to land that conversion from the touchline was a great kick,” Falkirk captain Harry Russell told the Falkirk Herald.
"The conditions were really difficult but he just slotted it.
"There was a big sense of relief when we won. It seems to be every weekend we’re in a dogfight towards the end of the game.
"But we managed the game better this week in terms of playing more in their half in the second half.
"It was really good. There was a mad scramble to get the ball out the park after the full-time whistle which was probably more stressful than anything else.”
Falkirk had been up against it early on as a converted Newton Stewart try – followed by a penalty – put the hosts 10-0 up.
"They scored so quickly and they made a couple of breaks early on. They put us under a lot of pressure and I thought it was going to be a long day at the office playing away from home."
But a Gregor Dodd try converted by Duncan Tompkins brought Falkirk back into it at 10-7.
And the visitors secured a 12-10 half-time advantage thanks to Jack Valentine’s try, conversion missed.
"The boys really dug in for the last 15 minutes of the first half,” Russell said.
"We really dominated territory and possession and fought our way back into it.
"So it meant that momentum started for us and we were playing some decent stuff.”
After Falkirk had Valentine sin binned early in the second half for repeated infringements, Newton Stewart landed a converted try to take a 17-12 advantage.
But the game was turned on its head late on when Andrew McNab’s try was converted in superb style by Tompkins.
"It was a good performance,” Russell said. “Managing the conditions well and just grinding it out when in previous years Falkirk has fallen down with that.
"So it was good to be on the right side of one of those.”
With fifth placed Falkirk now not in Tennent’s National League Division 2 action again until Saturday, November 27 when they visit GHK, Harry then spoke of his joy at seeing brother Finn kicking the winning penalty for Scotland against Australia at Murrayfield on Sunday.
"It was amazing,” Harry said. “The more pressure and the more responsibility Finn’s given, the more he seems to step up and deliver.
"I’m really proud of how he and the rest of the boys went on Sunday.
"Me and other members of the family were there. We were going nuts when the game was done as there is always tension as the Aussies have lots of threats all over the park.”