Boroughmuir 27 - 11 Stirling County: Cup run vital to Boroughmuir's coffers

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Boroughmuir assistant coach Phil Smith says that the fear of having little to play for over the remainder of the season was a motivating factor in Saturday's bonus point Premier Cup win over Stirling County in Pool H.

While they will continue to target victories in their remaining Premier A fixtures, Boroughmuir's primary motivation now is the prospect of progressing in the knockout competition.

An early exit would have ended any chance of winning silverware and with little at stake, there would be no prospect of attracting additional supporters and associated revenues. That would deal another blow to a club, whose president George Clark admitted in his programme notes for Saturday's game that the cancellation of several functions in the run-up to the festive period, combined with the absence of meaningful rugby over the past seven weeks, has had an impact on the club's finances.

Smith is acutely aware of that situation and also wants a cup run to maintain the interest of his players.

"It's vital for us," he said. "We are seventh in the league and realistically if we finish fifth that will be a reasonable result. We have to get to the quarter-finals of the cup and then it's up to the draw."

By contrast, Stirling lead the Premier B table and look well-placed to preserve their top-flight status. They contributed handsomely to an entertaining encounter with a performance which proved that, while their cup challenge is not yet over, they are in good fettle to tackle their main objective.

It was the visitors who made the better start and skipper Alex Moffat claimed the opening score when he applied the final touch to a driven lineout.

Boroughmuir responded with a penalty by Ally Warnock and turned round with a 15-5 advantage after prop Johnny Latta had displayed the benefits of a hefty workload on the treadmill over the past two months when he raced over from half way, then Malcolm Clapperton dotted down. Warnock's conversion gave the hosts a handy cushion at the break.

Stirling made a promising start to the second period and Brian Archibald banged over two penalties to keep them in the contest.

However, any hopes of a fight back were extinguished when Jamie Doubleday battered his way over for a converted try then Tom Bury raced down the left flank to touch down and secure a bonus point for the home side.

Scorers: Boroughmuir: Tries: Latta, Clappeton, Doubleday, Bury; Cons: Warnock (2); Pen: Warnock. Stirling County: Try: Moffat; Pens: Archibald (2).

Boroughmuir: H Jones; T Bury, M Clapperton, S Wilson, J Webster; A Warnock, S Johnson; J Duley, S Crombie, J Latta, G Scott, A Davidson, D O'Riordan, N Roger, J Doubleday.Subs used: C MacIntosh, N Fraser, T McColl, D Reekie, R Neil.

Stirling County: B Addison; G Lindsay, G Gilliland, B Archibald, R Aitken; J Hope, G McRorie; M McDonald, A Moffat, G Mountford, B McFarlane, G Gilchrist, S Robertson, T Clarke, C Deacons. Subs used: A Simpson, M Hunter, C Fail, D Lyle, D Mountford.

Referee: C Rudkin.

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