Match Report: Sunday 24th October Stirling County Women V Corstorphine Cougars - Stirling County Rugby Football Club

Match Report: Sunday 24th October Stirling County Women V Corstorphine Cougars

After a week off, the Premiership resumed with Corstorphine Cougars coming to Bridgehaugh as league leaders, with a 100% record from the first round of league matches. County were hopeful of an upset, after a great performance in their game before the break.

With the sun out conditions were pretty good for attacking rugby. County were playing with a blustery wind behind them in the first half and good support to cheer them on from the stands. Bridgehaugh reflected the huge growth in the women’s game with U14, U16 and U18 girls playing on
the other pitches.

The game didn’t start auspiciously. County lost the ball in their own half and let Cougars take territory with a series of one out drives. After several phases County’s defence was breached on
their line and Cougars took a [0-7] lead after just 2 minutes.

It was credit to Stirling that they remained calm. After 12 minutes the ball was worked right, where prop Debbie Falconer gave a lovely delayed pass to Rachel Shankland. Rachel faded outside the defence and showed trademark pace to run in from 40 metres.

County continued to dominate possession and both props featured in the next try. Ailsa Luke made a
powerful surge off ruck ball which set up a platform for the backs. Rachel Shankland almost made it
to the line but was held just short. After a couple of close drives, Debbie Falconer ran a powerful line
off scrum half Jodie Hutton and blasted over to make it [10-7].

Shortly afterwards, Rachel Shankland made another powerful break from half-way and this time there was no stopping her. That made the score [15-7] but despite being three tries to one, Stirling were still far from comfortable. Just before half time, a lovely try rounded off a very positive half for County. Second row Kerry Johnson made a strong break close the Cougars line and having drawn in the defence, managed to get an off load away to fly half Beth Streets. The ball went through the backs, for Kirsty Wilson to dot down in the corner.

HALF-TIME: Stirling County 20 – 7 Corstorphine Cougars

FThe second half proved a much tighter affair. As expected, Cougars made good use of the wind to kick long. County proved more effective with the ball in hand and had plenty of opportunities in the
Cougars twenty-two. The breakdown was being contested fiercely by both sides and Cougars held firm. With about twenty minutes of the game left they put some powerful phases together and eventually pierced the County defence. The conversion was important and it was a relief to see it pulled left of the posts, leaving County with a [20-12] lead.

They were bolstered by some fresh legs and then scored a fantastic try to seal victory. Evie Gallagher broke from the base of a midfield scrum in her own twenty-two. She ran powerfully into the Cougars back line and was well supported by centre Rachel Cox, who kept the momentum going and presented well. The ball was worked wide left to Rachel Shankland on half way, who was well marked but a timely clear out from Erin Sinclair maintained possession which was worked right. Cougars infringed at the tackle and Jodie Hutton took a quick tap penalty. Beth Streets got her pass away under extreme pressure and Orla Proctor did exceptionally well to gather low down. The ball was fed to wing Kirsty Wilson who had plenty of work to do from 40 metres out. She showed express pace to run down the touchline by the stand and finish under the posts. Heather Davies capped her fine performance with the conversion. A great ending to an important win.

The 27-12 win moves County into the top four of the league, which means they are currently in a
play off position. The league is very competitive, so lots to play for. The next game is away to Cartha and County will be looking for a first away win of the season.

FULL-TIME: Stirling County 27 – 12 Corstorphine Cougars

Our thanks to sponsors Precise Medical Aesthetics for supporting the team.