Stirling County took on Watsonians on Friday night at Meggetland in their final game of the FOSROC Super6 Sprint Series.
Watsonians started strong early, going through multiple phases deep into Stirling’s half. County set a high intensity in defence early, matching Watsonians’ quick start with some resilient defending. Stirling were soon rewarded for their organisation in defence and hard work with a turnover from Angus Fraser.
Watsonians scored the first try of the match through Lomond MacPherson after Harry Paterson gathered a kick and was able to free MacPherson who used his pace to finish in the corner. Lee Millar converted well from the right corner to take a seven point lead after 14 minutes. [7-0]
Stirling bounced back well with some attractive play in the wide channels, however, Walter Fifita was tackled into touch before offloading to Logan Trotter. County continued their expansive play and were rewarded with a try after some great link-up play from Logan Trotter which set up Sean Kennedy under the posts. Marcus Holden was able to successfully convert and level the match. [7-7]
Watsonians responded well and gained a penalty just before half time and they opted for a scrum. However, some great defence from Sean Kennedy saw him strip the ball from his opposite number, Rory Brand, to end the half level.
HT: Watsonians 7-7 Stirling County
Watsonians started the second half well and were rewarded a penalty which was kicked with ease from the Watsonian’s captain Lee Millar. [10-7]
Early into the second half, County controlled possession well. Soon after, an accurate, powerful driving maul saw Angus Fraser touch down for Stirling’s second try of the match. Marcus Holden was able to add the extras. [10-14]
County’s confidence was building with some expansive, quick play to score again through Stevie Hamilton. The try started from a quick dart from Ryan Southern putting Watsonians on the back foot. Marcus Holden made no mistake in converting. [10-21]
Watsonians fought back well through a driving maul which resulted in Cal Davies scoring Watsonians second try of the match. [17-21]
With 20 minutes remaining, Stirling continued to battle with some dominant defending and well executed kicking. With County knowing they still needed two scores to have a chance of taking the title, they kept pushing for their next score. Despite Stirling’s possession and attacking efforts, Watsonians Jason Baggot was able to intercept on halfway which handed Watsonians the win. [24-21]
Ben Cairn’s comments post match:
“We said we would give it a good crack, and we did that. I thought the whole level of the game was really high. It went up again in terms of the product.
We talked about how they were going to be under pressure and they’re expected to win it, and we would just heap more pressure on them by playing loose and seeing where we get to. It was almost like there was a little moment where we felt we could actually win it and we started putting ourselves under more pressure. We had to go for it, we did go for it and we gave it our best, that’s all we can ask.”
Match report by Henry Sampson
Stirling County: 15. Logan Trotter, 14. Stevie Hamilton, 13. DJ Innes, 12. Ryan Southern, 11. Walter Fifita, 10. Marcus Holden (C), 9. Sean Kennedy; 1. John McKenna, 2. Angus Fraser, 3. George Breese, 4. James Pow, 5. Adam Sinclair, 6. George Arnott, 7. Connor Gordon (C), 8. Benedict Grant.
Replacements: 16. Joe Halliday, 17. Cameron MacMillan, 18. Gary Strain, 19. Hamish Ferguson, 20. Callum Cruickshank, 21. Harry Russell, 22. Craig Robertson, 23. Mike Gray
Watsonians: 15. Harry Paterson, 14. Lomond MacPherson, 13. Matt Currie, 12. Joe Reynolds, 11. Angus Guthrie, 10. Lee Millar (C), 9. Rory Brand; 1. Harrison Courtney, 2. Cal Davies, 3. Angus Williams, 4. Luis Ball, 5. Kwagga Van Niekerk, 6. Seb Cecil, 7. Connor Boyle, 8. Mesu Kunavula.
Replacements: 16. Elliot Young, 17. Sam Grahamslaw, 18. Bobby Bratton, 19. Kieran Watt, 20. Karl Main, 21. Murray Scott, 22. Jason Baggott, 23. Lewis Berg.
Stirling County: TRY: Kennedy, Fraser, Hamilton; CON; Holden 3
Watsonians: TRY: MacPherson, Davies, Baggott; CON; Millar 3
FOSROC Player of the Match
Angus Fraser (Stirling County)