2nd XV vs Stirling County: Match Report
This match was going to be a good measure of our title ambitions, and we started the top of table clash a lot better than we had in the last few weeks. With the pressure building, Stirling conceded a penalty in their 22 which Mickey slotted.
Again we built pressure and were camped in their 22 when one of their boys flew out of the line; Mickey went for a cross-field kick which Jordan slapped down to Alex, who crashed over the line. Unfortunately a great covering tackle meant the ‘try’ wasn’t given (but Alex was convinced he had got it down).
Stirling started to show some attacking flair with some good breaks from their backs, but great scramble defence saved us on more than one occasion. We got ourselves back into the game and managed to get another penalty just outside the 22 which gave us a 6 point lead.
Approaching half-time, Stirling were awarded a penalty for a breakdown offence and got themselves on the score board. The half time position was a fair reflection of the evenly matched contest and the solid defensive efforts from both teams.
We started the second half well, continuing to dominate scrums and lineouts. This gave a good platform for the backs to make attacks and send probing kicks deep into Stirling’s half. From a scrum, Mickey passed to Jamie Z (on his debut), who picked the ball up off his bootlaces and fed Christy, who was then tackled. From the resulting breakdown, Joe picked the ball up and scored the best individual try of the season from the half way line. His twists and turns left the Stirling defence all over the place.
We then faced a serious barrage from Stirling, but our defence held strong and we were awarded a penalty so we could clear our lines. The defence today was one of the best parts of the team’s performace.
After a number of pick and goes in the Stirling 22, Nick crashed over with a beautiful swan dive that Chris Ashton would have been proud of. This gave us a lead and the opportunity to build on this. Stirling were not done yet, however, and our old friend Donny Junior made some probing breaks. With Andy in the bin (see Stats), Donny made another break down the wing and put a nice inside pass to the onrushing full back, who dotted down.
Our dominance in the scrum could not have been made more obvious than it was when, with only 7 forwards, we were driving the Stirling pack back at scrum time. As the final whistle approached, Christy attempted a drop goal which was partially charged down and resulted in a five meter scrum. From this Adam picked and went and got over the line, but the ‘try’ was again disallowed and the ref blew the full time whistle.
It’s been a long time since we have beaten Stirling at 2nd XV level, so this was a great result. We now face a difficult away match at Accies, who have won their last four games on the trot.
Stats from this game are here.