BOTH coaches confessed they thought Stirling had won this see-saw encounter when pro Mark Bennett scampered in for a try with two minutes remaining, only for Dundee to conjure a response that pinched the points.
“This is a game that never fails to deliver,” said a visibly relieved Ian Rankin, for the visitors. “There’s nothing between us, but I thought we should have had the game won earlier. Then they scored that late try and I thought, ‘Oh s**t’. But credit to our guys, they stuck to it and there was a bit of luck involved but that’s the way it goes.”
Indeed, it was Ian Wilson’s touchdown at the death, converted by Jamie Urquhart, that sealed the victory. Earlier, Neil Dymock and Jack Steele had also crossed the County line, Urquhart goalling both and kicking a brace of penalties. Stirling had led for much of the match thanks to a Ruaridh Leishman try, to which Stuart Edwards added the extra points as well as nudging over four penalties. Having slipped narrowly behind well into the second half, they seemed to have dealt a killer blow when Bennett restored their advantage. “I thought we’d done it,” said County’s Graeme Young, “but the bread and butter parts of the game are important and restarts are bread and butter. We lost the kick-off after that late try and they turned it over and scored. Inconsistency has been the story of our season. If you don’t play well for 80 minutes, you’re going to suffer.”
Scorers: Stirling – Tries: Leishman, Bennett. Con: Edwards. Pens: Edward (4). Dundee: Tries: Dymock, Steele, Wilson. Cons: Urquhart (3). Pens: Urquhart (2).
Stirling: B Addison; G Lindsay, M Bennett, D Gilmour, R Aitken; S Edwards, D Maw; Mike McDonald, A Moffat, G Mountford, R Leishman, C Deacons, T Clarke, A Ashe, R Boswell. Subs: S Raby, R Kennedy, S Robertson, J Bhatti, B Archibald.
Dundee: J Urquhart; A McLean, H Duthie, J Steele, C Bowie; B Laursen, R Lavery; S Longwell, D Russell, A Brown, A Linton, A Redmayne, C Cumming, D Levison, I Wilson. Reps: N Dymock, G Robertson, R Hawkins, R McIver, S Walker.
Referee: C Rudkin.