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County restore Pride in Nottingham

14/12/2013

County restore Pride in Nottingham

British & Irish Cup – Pool 4
 
Nottingham 24 - Stirling County 14
 
Kevin Robertson reports from Meadow Lane
 
Stirling County travelled to the East Midlands for the second of their back-to-back matches against Nottingham on Friday evening, looking to make amends for the heavy defeat inflicted at the hands of the English Championship side six days earlier.
 
County were missing a handful of regulars for this British & Irish Cup clash, but we're bolstered by Glasgow Warriors allocated professionals Henry Pyrgos (at scrum-half) and Richie Vernon in his new position at outside centre.  Nottingham also reshuffled their side, and brought back a number of experienced players, including England and Leicester full-back Matthew Tait.
 
County started with purpose and following early pressure, opened the scoring when left-winger Rory Hughes caught a loose clearance kick from the home side on halfway before slicing through the Nottingham defence and offloading to his supporting full-back Brian Archibald who touched down close to the posts. Archibald converted his try to give the visitors a 7-0 lead after 7 minutes.
 
County were then reduced to 14 men when Stevie Swindall was sin-binned for deliberately pushing an opponent off the ball.  As in the previous week's meeting, the heavier Nottingham pack created difficulties for the County forwards in the scrum, and the home side exploited their numerical advantage, tying the score at 7-7 on 21 minutes when Brent Wilson barged over for a try following a strong 5-metre scrum push. The try was converted by stand-off Rory Lynn.
 
Archibald then pulled a 40-metres penalty just wide of the uprights, before Lynn put the home side 10 -7 ahead after 26 minutes from a 30-metre penalty kick in front of the posts after County were driven-up in the scrum.

Nottingham increased their lead on the half-hour mark, when from a penalty line-out catch on the County 22, the ball was swiftly moved in field and a clever scissors move between Lynn and Joe Munro opened up the County rear-guard allowing the inside centre to sprint over for a try under the posts, converted by Lynn.

Lynnand Archibald both missed long-range penalties before the break. 
 
Half-time: Nottingham 17 Stirling County 7
 
Nottingham went on the offensive from the re-start and Wilson scrambled over for his second ry three minutes into the second half, converted by Lynn, making the score 24 – 7.
 
Jonny Hope replaced Danny Gilmour and was yellow-carded within two minutes for deliberately coming round on the wrong side of a ruck.
 
Despite being a man down, County's defence held firm as the home side pressed for their bonus-point try. The visitors used all their replacements during the second period, with youngster Jack Dunn making his 1st XV debut. 
 
In the closing stages County mounted a series of spirited attacks, and with four minutes remaining a concreted spell of County pressure was finished off by Matt Lamb who took a clever floated pass from Hope to score a deserved try in the right corner, converted by Archibald, to reduce the deficit to ten points.
 
Full-time: Nottingham 24 Stirling County 14.
 
Scorers:  Nottingham – Tries: Wilson (2), Munro.  Conv.: Lynn (3). Pen.: Lynn.
Stirling County – Tries: Archibald, Lamb. Conv.: Archibald (2).      .
 
Nottingham: Tait, Savage, Styles, Munro, Hough, Lynn, Barnham; Bower, Vickers, Holford, Keogh, Price, Calladine, Wilson (capt.), Burton. Replacements: Ma’afu, Walker, Williams, Laxton, Romans, Jarvis, Knight.
 
Stirling County:  Archibald (capt.), Lamb, Vernon, Gilmour, Hughes, Lyle, Pyrgos; Burney, Kennedy, Hutton, Leishman, Dewar, S Robertson, McDonald, Swindall. Replacements:  Bhatti, Murray, Bordill, Dunn, Watt, Hope, C Robertson.
 
Referee: N. Correll (IRFU).
 
County's Head Coach Graeme Young was very satisfied with his team's much improved display against the full-time professionals of Nottingham. County will be looking to take this level of commitment and intensity into their crucial RBS Premiership match away to Glasgow Hawks next Saturday (21st December) - kick-off at Old Anniesland is 2:30pm.
 
Thanks to County’s main sponsor Ondeo Industrial Solutions and all others who continue to support the Club.
 
Rugby Round-up: Wins for County's Seconds, Thirds, Under-16s and Under-15s
 
County’s 2nd XV beat Melrose Storm 26 – 0 at Bridgehaugh to move up to fifth place in RBS National Reserve League One. Next Saturday (21st December) the Seconds are also away to Glasgow Hawks - kick-off at Old Anniesland is 2pm.
 
County’s 3rd XV thrashed Alloa 41 – 6 at Bridgehaugh to remain fourth in RBS Caledonia League Four Midlands.

County’s Under-16s rounded off a successful campaign in the National Youth League with a 13-12 home win over Perthshire, and look forward to the National Youth Cup in February.

County's Under-15s finished off their year with a fine win over Currie at Bridgehaugh.

Members are reminded that the next pre-match hospitality lunch will on be Saturday 18th January before the British & Irish Cup match between County and Munster - please contact Alastair Cunningham or the Club Office on 01786-478866 to reserve your place.
 


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