On Sunday County Women fielded 31 players in 2 games at Corstorphine Cougars
This is a big moment for the club as it is the first time we have fielded two teams. It is testament to the youth development at County as our squad continues to grow as girls progress from mini and youth into the U18’s and ultimately representing the club in the women’s senior team.
Cougars got off to a strong start when they moved the ball wide and got outside the County defence twice to take a 12-0 lead after 13 minutes. With a change to their defensive alignment, County were much more effective for the rest of the match, just out-scoring Cougars from that point on…but the damage had been done.
County’s first try came from a powerful break by Katie McLaren from deep inside her own half. Kelsey Whitlow supported well on the wing to take a pass on the Cougars 22 and run in under the posts. That brought the game back to 12-7 but Cougars then stretched their lead with two more tries. The first came from a good kick which bounced well for the chasing attack and then concerted pressure on the County try line resulted in a pick and go try.
Stirling got back into the game before half time with some more powerful running, which put Cougars on the back foot. Debbie Falconer made a decisive break just inside the Cougars 22 and it was fitting that she crashed over from another great running line from 5 metres That try, just before the break, brought the score back to 22-12.
The second half followed a similar pattern. Cougars scored twice, then County fought back. Jodie Hutton capped a typically combative performance at scrum half with a try from a good supporting line. Then the try of the day came when another strong carry from Katie McLaren put Kirsty Wilson in space on the wing. From half-way, Kirsty turned on the after-burners and showed what a threat she can be. A final score of 34-24, with Stirling knowing they have every chance of turning this result around later in the season. The team showed great spirit to fight back in both halves – but we need to avoid giving teams a head start!
In the 2nd XV game, Stirling opened the scoring with a barnstorming try from Katie Lindsay, who had a very impressive game. County were dominant in the early exchanges with Erin Sinclair making a series of good breaks. Cougars came back into the game though and scored twice, either side of half time. Both sides were physically committed, with the final pass not quite sticking on a number of occasions.
The breakthrough came when Amy Coyle (grand-daughter of County legend Eason Roy), hit a fabulous line through the middle of the field to record the decisive try under the posts. The 2nd XV ran out 14-10 winners in their first ever game. Veteran skipper Gillian Duncan led from the front in a very impressive team performance. To see this quality of rugby reflects the depth of talent in the squad and shows the potential for the 2nd XV to develop into a powerful force this season.