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County undone by slick Nottingham


County undone by slick Nottingham

British & Irish Cup : Pool 4 – match sponsored by United Auctions
Stirling County 7 – Nottingham 50

Kevin Robertson reports from Bridgehaugh
Stirling County found it tough going against a powerful Nottingham side, who scored seven tries in an entertaining British & Irish Cup match at Bridgehaugh.
County had the first scoring opportunity after 2 minutes when Stuart Edwards pulled a 35-metre penalty just wide of the uprights. Nottingham exerted early pressure and County were penalised for collapsing a scrum, with Matthew Jarvis giving the visitors a 3 – 0 lead from the resultant penalty after 10 minutes.
Six minutes later Nottingham broke from half-way and the move was finished off by Javiah Pole in the left corner, converted by Jarvis to extend the visitors lead to 16 – 0.
County responded from the re-start and a penalty line out catch and drive (below right) from 20 yards out was finished off by Alex Moffat who touched down; the try was converted by Edwards to reduce the leeway to 7 – 10 after 19 minutes.
Jonny Hope replaced Ben Addison at full-back for County, before Nottingham’s powerful pack, led by Fihian internationlist Ma'afu, drove County back over their own try line for a score by Joe Burton, converted by Jarvis to increase the visitors lead to 17 – 7 after 25 minutes.  Two minutes later Nottingham’s backs took possession on half-way and sped through the middle channel with Sean Romans finishing off the move with a try close to the posts, converted by Jarvis, taking the score to 7 - 24.
Just before the break, Nottingham again broke from within their own half and following slick passing, which wrong-footed the home defence, Morgan Eames finished off the move to score the visitors fourth and bonus-point try, which was unconverted .
Half-time:  Stirling County 7 – Nottingham 29.
County started the second half positively with long spells in the visitors’ half, but couldn’t find a way through the Nottingham rearguard.
On 54 minutes, Nottingham added a fifth try when Burton was driven over following a 5-metre scrum. Jarvis added the conversion, to increase the visitors advantage to 7- 36.
County used all their replacements with Jack Urquhart making his 1st XV debut on the left wing. 
Sam Isaacs added a further try for the visitors after 64 minutes, following a swift flowing move down the right flank involving five players, converted by Mathews. With six minutes remaining, Romans finished off another fast break by the visitors, with the try converted by Jacob Knight, to give Nottingham a comprehensive victory.
Final Score:  Stirling County 7 – Nottingham 50.
Scorers:  Stirling County – Try: Moffat.  Conv.: Edwards.
Nottingham – Tries: Pohe, Burton (2), Romans (2), Eames, Isaacs.  Conv.: Jarvis (5), Knight.  Pen.: Jarvis.
Stirling County:  Addison, Lindsay, Gilmour, Lyle, Lamb, Edwards, Watt; Bhatti, Moffat, Hutton, Larsen, Leishman, Robertson, Bordill, Swanson.  Replacements:  Kennedy, Burney, Murray, MacDonald, Hope, Faill, Urquhart.
Nottingham: Knight, Isaacs, Catchpole, Pohe, Hough, Jarvis, Romans; Ma’afu, Vickers, Williams, Keogh, Eames, Barron, Laxton, Burton. Replacements: Thacker, Bower, Montague, Poullet, Lee-Everton, Foster, Savage.

Referee: D. Jones (WRU).
Despite the score line County can take many positives out of this match which was played at a high intensity against full-time professionals from the English Championship. County travel to the East Midlands for the return tie against Nottingham in the British & Irish Cup on Friday (13th December) - kick-off at Meadow Lane is 8pm.  See Club website for full match preview.
Thanks to British & Irish Cup match sponsor United Auctions, and to County’s main sponsor Ondeo Industrial Solutions and all others who continue to support the Club.
Rugby Round-up:
County’s 2nd XV beat Heriot’s 21 – 7 at Bridgehaugh in RBS National Reserve League One, scoring three converted tries. Next Saturday (14h December) the Seconds are at home to Melrose Storm and the 3rd XV entertain Alloa in RBS Caledonia League Four Midlands – both matches kick-off at 2pm at Bridgehaugh.
County’s Women narrowly lost 31 - 28 away to RHC Cougars in the RBS Women’s Premier League.
Next Sunday (15th December), County’s Under-16s are at home to Perthshire (kick-off 2pm) in their final National Youth League match.      
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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