Dunfermline 45 Stewarty 13, National League, Division Four

GAVIN EMERSON heaped praise on his Dunfermline side after they produced an "unreal" performance to get their own back on Stewartry.

The home side racked up a third successive bonus point victory in the league, ending their opponents' unbeaten start to the campaign in the process.

Victory for Dunfermline also saw them turn the tables on the Castle Douglas-based team who, in April, inflicted a 35-19 defeat on the McKane Park outfit, on their home turf, in the semi-final of the National Shield competition.

Stewartry went on to win that competition at Murrayfield but they could not stop the West Fifers from picking up an impressive five-point haul on Saturday.

"We're over the moon with it," head coach Emerson told Press Sport.

"Coming from how we trained on Thursday, to how we played on Saturday, was like night and day. The guys turned up and the coaches had a feeling that it would be a good day. The warm-up went well and you just feel the buzz. The boys played phenomenally.

"Everything came together and, without being disrespectful to Stewartry, we blew them away. The boys were class; it was so good.

"It was nice to see everything click into place. The forwards gave a great platform, the backs' handling was great, and our set-piece was on point.

"There are still things we can improve on; we still gave away penalties with soft high tackles. We'll work on that this week, but the boys were unreal."

A home game with Tranent's Ross High RFC is next up for Dunfermline, at McKane this Saturday, and Emerson has urged his players to maintain their performance level which he believes can see them challenging at the top end of the division.

"We came away with a bonus point, which we secured early and gave the boys confidence in the second half to try things and express themselves," Emerson continued.

"Stewartry fell away in the second half a wee bit with the intensity we continued to play with. I couldn't ask for any more from the guys.

"They've set the standard I expect them to play with every week. We've still got strong teams to play, but we think that we're going to compete with everyone in the division.

"They never got over our try line, which shows the level of defence we put up against them. A few months ago, they were running through us. The level of desire and willingness to scrap for every bit of ball was there and really shows they care.

"We'll definitely be a contender if we keep that level of performance up. It was a monkey off the back, after the disappointment a few months back, and you could see the relief from the boys."

This Saturday's match kicks off at 3pm, whilst, at the same time and also at McKane, the club's second XV play their second Caledonia Midlands Region League, Division Two, match at home to Madras.

Meanwhile, Dunfermline's ladies team sit top of the Caledonia Midlands / East Region League, Division Two, after returning to winning ways against Kirkcaldy.

After victories in their opening four games, they lost out to Lismore in their previous match, but secured a Fife derby triumph with a hard-fought 22-10 success on Sunday thanks to tries from Miriam Aitchson (2), Emma Megahey and Caitlin Murphy.