Jan 19 2011 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Wednesday
Boroughmuir 27 Stirling County 11
AFTER an enforced break of eight weeks rugby resumed with the second-round matches in the new-look Scottish Cup.
With both teams winning their opening games and only the pool winners progressing to the knock-out stages, the match was virtually winner-takes-all.
County started well and were awarded an early penalty, which they kicked to touch. They won the ensuing lineout and the forwards drove over for captain Alex Moffat to score an unconverted try in the corner.
The home side hit back and were camped in the County half but the usually accurate kicker Warnock missed a couple of penalties. Midway through the half he finally pulled on his kicking boots to reduce the leeway to 5-3.
On the half-hour Grant Gilchrist went over his ankle from a lineout move. Later in the day he was diagnosed with a broken leg above the ankle and underwent surgery that evening.
The final 10 minutes of the half turned the game in Boroughmuir's favour. Warnock emerged from a maul and saw the Stirling back line completely out of position so kicked cross-field for the winger to catch. The Stirling defence did not react and, despite a tackle by Ben Addison, the ball was offloaded to Muir prop Latta, who was the only one in support, to run in from almost halfway.
The conversion was missed but straight from the restart Stirling missed a tackle in midfield that allowed the Muir backs to get behind the defence and quick hands saw Clapperton in for a second try, converted this time by Warnock to give the homesters a 15-5 halftime lead.
While Boroughmuir went indoors for the break Stirling stayed out in the middle of the pitch and howling wind. It seemed to pay dividends as they started the sharper side. After 10 minutes they were rewarded with an Archibald penalty.
Muir were reduced to 14 men after their replacement was yellow-cared and Archibald kicked the penalty to make it 15-11 with 25 minutes left and County in the driving seat.
Instead it was the home side who went on to win. Stirling went back to old habits and from a five metres scrum penalty Boroughmuir took quick ball and walked over the line. The conversion took it to 22-11.
Restored to 15 men and with both sides running the benches, Boroughmuir's Bury found himself in a mismatch on the blind flank. He waltzed past prop Garry Mountford then out-paced wing Lindsay to score their fourth and bonus point try.
STIRLING COUNTY: Addison; Lindsay, Gilliland, Archibald, Aitken; Hope, McRorie; McDonald, Moffat, G Mountford, McFarlane, Gilchrist, Robertson, Clarke, Deacons. Replacements: Simpson, Hunter, Fail, D Mountford, Lyle.
Stirling return to Premier B league business on Saturday at home to Watsonians.
With four games left it will be important to push home their position at the top of the table to secure one of the four places in Premier One for next season.
The 2nd XV resumed their campaign with a 26-13 bonus point win at West of Scotland to retain their 100 per cent record in National Reserve League One.
West went in front with an early penalty but County responded with a pushover try from the forwards, grounded by Jamie Mountford. Finn Russell converted for a 7-3 half-time lead.
County scored their second try with second half replacement Jack Urquhart breaking through the home defence. Russell converted.
West countered with a try in the corner, which was converted, but Urquhart scored his second try to increase the margin to 19-10 in the visitors’ favour.
West scored a further penalty before a last-minute strong run by Gregor Brodie down the left flank saw him score the fourth bonus-point try, converted by Russell.
On Saturday, County 2nds are at home to Watsonians 2nds, kick-off 2pm.
Stirling 3rd XV won 27-8 against Morgan 2nd XV.