As Stirling County look ahead to competing in their first-ever Premiership final this coming Saturday, January 28th, kick-off at 1:30 pm, Head Coach Mark Ainsworth shares his thoughts on the season so far and the exciting challenge ahead on Saturday.
“We started the league campaign back in August with great anticipation tinged with some trepidation. We were a newly appointed coaching group, Megan Kennedy, Kenny Craig and I and we had introduced 10 players from U18 rugby (9 from Stirling County). The huge unknown was could the young girls make the step up to the challenges of senior rugby and would we be able to integrate so many new players into a strong established squad. Thankfully both of those fears proved unfounded and we finished the league campaign with 11 wins from 12 securing top spot by 9 points.
As other teams bolstered their squads with Scotland players returning from the World Cup in New Zealand, we looked to our County U18 squad and brought up 3 new players who have played a big role in getting us to the final. I look forward to this being the continuation of young talent moving seamlessly into this already fantastic squad.
Having finished top of the league we then faced Heriot’s in the playoff semi-final. The prospect of beating an ever-improving Heriot’s outfit on an unfamiliar artificial pitch at Edinburgh Uni, with the added pressure of knock-out rugby, was daunting and was a potential banana skin. The team showed huge character and survived a barrage in the first half hour to win, with some great rugby, some 28-5.
We now play Cosrstorphine Cougars in the final at Bridgehaugh on Saturday in what should be a highly entertaining and tight final. I think it’s only fitting that the two stand-out teams from the regular season are contesting the final and the whole squad are looking forward to playing in front of our fantastic support at Bridgehaugh.”
We are looking forward to seeing a wonderful support down to Bridgehaugh on Saturday for what is sure to be a fantastic match and are looking forward to seeing the wider rugby community down to support this fantastic young squad representing Stirling! Kick-off is at 1:30 pm with the bar open from midday and a buffet hospitality available from midday (buffet must be pre-booked at email@example.com – £15 pp, bookings close at 5 pm on Wednesday).