Wolves fall short, in a back-and-forth battle at
The home team started off the proceedings strong, with back-to-back penalties. County opted for the penalty kick on the second, with Wolves captain, Marcus Holden converting after 4 minutes of play. [3-0]
Just before the 20 minute mark, the Bears scored the first try of the match thanks to captain, George McGinley. Adam Scott was unable to convert the extra points. [3-5]
County responded well, with a try from the in-form Logan Trotter, who would dart through the defence to touchdown County’s first try of the evening. Holden was unable to convert; something that he would struggle with throughout the course of 80 minutes. [8-5]
The lead would be short lived, as eventual Player of the Match, Corey Tait would put the visitors back in front, after a strong driving maul between the posts. Scott would convert the extra points, extending the lead by 4 points. [8-12]
The final strike of the half would come from Ross McKnight. After scoring tries in his last two outings for County, he would make it three games in a row. Holden was unable to convert yet again, but County would take the lead going into the break. [13-12]
HT: Stirling County 13-12 Boroughmuir Bears
The second half had barely gotten under way, before Tait scored his second try of the game. Another Bears try from the maul, something that County head coach, Ben Cairns would touch on in his post-match comments. Scott converted and put the visitors ahead by 6. [13-19]
County would dominate possession over the next 10 minutes of play and would be rewarded with a try under the posts from James Pow. Holden wouldn’t be missing this conversion, but County back in front. At this point, the lead had changed hands of seven occasions. Mike Gray would also replace try scorer, Ross McKnight after the try. [20-19]
At the 62nd minute of play, County extended their lead further and bagged the bonus point, with their 4th try of the game. This time it would be Benedict Grant with the try. However, County would only hold a 6 point cushion, as Holden once again struggled to make the conversation. [25-19]
The Bears held onto the ball with a dominant period of possession, but County absorbed the pressure. That was until a bit of misfortune, as an awkwardly bounced chip found itself out of reach from County’s Euan Cunningham and into the arms of Tom Brown. Adam Scott would step up to put the Bears up by 1. Scott would convert and once again, the lead changed hands. [25-26]
Boroughmuir bossed the next 10 minutes and thought they had snatched a late try from Corey Tait. However, he was held up over the line and now County had one last chance to win the game. Two costly turnovers from County would follow. The first being a line-out that slipped through the fingertips of the receiver, followed by penalty, allowing the Bears to kick the ball out of possession to take the slender win. County walked away with 2 bonus points but will be bitterly disappointed that they didn’t come away with more from that game.
FT: Stirling County 25-26 Boroughmuir Bears
Head Coach, Ben Cairns’ comments after the game:
“We talked all week about building pressure and execution, but ultimately we have not executed when we needed to. The backs were wasteful at times with too many mistakes. Our forwards were dominated far too often with the mauls, which is frustrating considering how dominant our scrums were”.
“In the end, we just didn’t put enough pressure on them to build points. We have come away empty handed; in a game we should have won”.
Stirling County: 15. Logan Trotter, 14. Ross McKnight, 13. DJ Innes, 12. Marcus Holden (C), 11. Ben Salmon, 10. Euan Cunningham, 9. Harry Russell; 1. George Breese, 2. Angus Fraser, 3. Callum Norrie, 4. James Pow, 5. Harris McLeod, 6. Hamish Ferguson, 7. Connor Gordon (C), 8. Benedict Grant.
Replacements: 16. Joe Halliday, 17. John McKenna, 18. Murphy Walker, 19. Lewis Skinner, 20. Jake Spurway, 21. Finalay Burgess, 22. Callum Beckett, 23. Mike Gray.
Boroughmuir Bears: 15. Tom Brown, 14. Glen Faulds, 13. Duncan Munn, 12. Robbie McCallum, 11. Adam Scott, 10. Harry Mercer, 9. Murray Johnstone, 1. Brandon Sweet, 2. Corey Tait, 3. Callum Smith, 4. Ewan Stewart, 5. Hamish Bain, 6. Josh King, 7. Scott McGinley (C) 8. Trystan Ansrews.
Replacements: 16. Iain Carmichael, 17. Chris Anderson, 18. Marcus Goodwin, 19. Jack Fisher, 20. Mzwandile Mncube 21. Brodie Young 22. Liam McConnell 23. Ronan Kerr.
Referee: Ian Kenny
Stirling County: TRY: Trotter, McKnight, Pow, Grant; CON: Holden; PEN: Holden
Boroughmuir Bears: TRY: McGinley, Tait 2, Brown; CON: Scott 3
FOSROC Player of the Match
Corey Tait (Boroughmuir Bears)
Match report by Aaron Johnson
Images by Bryan Robertson