Mar 21 2012 by Kevin Robertson, Stirling Observer Wednesday
Aberdeen Grammar 31 Stirling County 33
STIRLING County showed immense character and resolve to come back from a 14-point deficit in the last quarter to take four points from this eight-try epic.
The winning try, two minutes from time by Struan Robertson, had the home team fuming. He picked up the ball following a series of forward drives and touched down with the unsighted referee awarding the try following consultation with his touch judge. Archibald converted from out wide to give County the win.
County were without injured prop Mike MacDonald but Steve Raby ably deputised in the front row and received the man of the match accolade for getting the better of his opposite number, international prop Moray Low.
Brian Archibald opened the scoring for the visitors with a fifth minute penalty but Aberdeen responded immediately from the restart, dislodging the gathered ball with a crunching tackle before moving the ball wide from the resulting scrum for Aitken to find space on the left flank and score an unconverted try.
County continued to attack and three successive long-range penalties by Archibald gave the visitors a 12-5 lead.
However, Grammar drew level before the interval. Seydak broke from halfway, aided by woeful tackling, before off-loading to Ward for the scrum-half to score under the posts, converted by Hagart.
County squandered a scoring opportunity just before the interval, knocking the ball on over the try line.
Aberdeen then stretched their lead with two tries by Warlaw and Anderson, both converted by Hagart.
But Stirling hit back as the match entered the final quarter. A break from the back of the scrum by Davie Maw and feed to Stuart Edwards saw the stand-off scamper over the line to score a try under the posts, converted by Archibald.
Then Archibald broke through the centre to run 20 metres unopposed to score under the posts and converted his try to tie the scores.
Straight from the restart, however, the County defence was caught napping, and Grammar moved the ball from one side to the other for replacement centre Ryan to score in the left corner.
County refused to give up and with two minutes remaining came Robertson’s try and Archibald’s winning conversion.
ABERDEEN GRAMMAR: Aitken, Anderson, Wardlaw. Lyle, Oag, Hagart, Ward; Fraser, Dixon, Low. Nimmons, Smith, Seydak, McGinness, Douglas. Replacements: Ryan, Bingham, Allen, McCaul, Lawson.
STIRLING COUNTY: C Robertson, Lindsay, Gilmour, Archibald, Addison, Edwards, Maw; Raby, Moffat, Mountford, McAlpine, Leishman, Swindall, Clarke, Barsanti. Replacements: Hutton, Graham, Lamb, S Robertson, Boswell.
Referee: K White.
On Saturday County play their final home league match of the season against Boroughmuir. Kick-off at Bridgehaugh is at 3pm.
Stirling's 3rd XV beat Bannockburn 34-7 in a friendly on Friday evening under the Bridgehaugh floodlights.
On Saturday County's 2nd XV resume their National Reserve League One programme away to Melrose, kick-off 3pm.
County's women's team continue their bid for promotion to the Premiership with the first of their play-off matches at home to Watsonians on Sunday. The same day the U18 girls will compete in the final of the National Bowl at Murrayfield.