GHA 22 Stirling County 39
Sunnyside, home of Falkirk RFC, was the stage for a bitter disappointment for GHA in their attempt to wrestle a spot in next season’s BT Premiership away from Stirling County.
The first quarter was played out with GHA putting their bigger opponents under pressure. It was from a turnover on 10 minutes that GHA countered out wide and a neat interchange on the right hand touchline saw GHA full back Chris Binnie race clear for the opening score. The try was unconverted.
GHA twice fell foul of the referee’s whistle to give Stirling two penalty chances which they converted for a narrow lead. As the first half entered its final 10 minutes, Stirling exploited an overlap from deep in their own half and former GHA winger John Brogan, now in Stirling colours, was on hand to finish off. The score was converted to give Stirling a 13-5 lead.
GHA hit back soon after when No8 Andrew Boag and a sustained forwards onslaught inside the Stirling 22, the ball was shipped wide for Binnie to go over for his second. The conversion came back off the uprights to leave GHA trailing by 3.
Just before the half time whistle. Andrew Boag was yellow-carded for taking a man out at a lineout on the GHA 5 metre line, giving Stirling a penalty try, which converted to give Stirling a 10 point advantage at the break.
With GHA a man down for the first 10 minutes of the second period, Stirling took an early score. The score was again converted to give Stirling a commanding 27-10 lead.
Stirling responded with two tries in quick succession with Stirling’s kicking out of hand also proving to be more astute than that of GHA’s on the day. The first score was a typical forward effort as their back row crashed over after the Stirling pack bludgeoned the GHA defense, the second came from a break by Glasgow Warrior centre Fraser Lyle who was a standout performer for Stirling all afternoon.
In the closing 10 minutes, Flanker Ross Angus scored out wide converting.