West of Scotland FC 22 - Stirling County RFC 32

PICTURE BY: Gary Hutchison, 29/01/11, West of Scotland Rugby v Stirling County.
PICTURE BY: Gary Hutchison, 29/01/11, West of Scotland Rugby v Stirling County.

WEST hosted Stirling County at Burnbrae in what promised to be an exciting encounter with West badly needing a win to kick start their Premier B campaign.

The conditions were perfect with little or no wind to cause handling and kicking problems.

PICTURE BY: Gary Hutchison, 29/01/11, West of Scotland Rugby v Stirling County.

PICTURE BY: Gary Hutchison, 29/01/11, West of Scotland Rugby v Stirling County.

The hosts started badly and within 14 minutes were 17 points down. From the kick-off a maul on the West line caught the home side unprepared and a drive over try for Stirling prop McDonald opened the scoring within the first five minutes – successfully converted by centre Brian Archibald.

Minutes later a foray up the park gave Stirling stand off Stuart Edwards a successful drop goal attempt to take their score to 10 points.

The quietened home support got even quieter when scrum half Gordon McRorie gave the visitors their second try of the day, giving Archibald an easy conversion.

West finally woke up but found it difficult to breach the Stirling defence.

PICTURE BY: Gary Hutchison, 29/01/11, West of Scotland Rugby v Stirling County.

PICTURE BY: Gary Hutchison, 29/01/11, West of Scotland Rugby v Stirling County.

They finally opened their account just before the break with an excellent solo try by No.8 Graham Fisken. He broke several tackles then glided past the fullback to touch down beside the posts. Conor Davis popped over the conversion to bring the half time score to 7 – 17.

On the turnaround West came out fighting and crept closer with a fine penalty by Davis. But then the wheels came off the bus again as Stirling struck with first a penalty by Archibald then two unconverted tries – one drive over by their captain and hooker Alex Moffat and the other a break off the driving maul by flanker Struan Robertson.

With the score now at 32 – 10 the home side had a mountain to climb.

The ‘never say die’ attitude of the West squad paid dividends with another try by Graham Fisken – from slightly closer this time, converted by Conor Davis.

Shortly after Conor’s brother and fellow half-back Mark squirted eel like through the visitors defence to give West another try, converted by his brother. But it was too little too late.

The final whistle brought the proceedings to a close with the score at 24 – 32 and a worrying loss for West.

Stirling County happily took the Hamish Logan trophy back home.

Tomorrow (Saturday) West are looking for a win against borders side Gala, Kick-off 3pm.

West team: Elliott McLaren, David McKenna, Steven Longwell, Jack Walker, James Harley, Greg Haswell, David Young (Captain), Graham Fisken, Mark Davis, Conor Davis, Alex Fisken, Calum McConnell, Stuart Malone, Richard Dalgleish, Aidan McCall-Hagan. Sub: Iain Henderson, Stuart McDonald, Alasdair Stevenson, Mark Horner.