IT IS curiously anomalous to find a coach beaming with satisfaction after seeing his side handed a comprehensive beating.
Yet Stirling’s Graeme Young was in bullish mood following the demolition inflicted on his charges by the full-time professionals from Nottingham.
“There are loads of positives,” he said. “I thought our intensity was really good. We varied our attack a lot more than we have been doing in the league and some of our tactical kicking was very good. We kept them guessing. I was pleased in general.”
Young also acknowledged that he views these B&I Cup encounters as opportunities to learn, particularly for less seasoned players. “It is a massive learning experience, especially for the younger guys. They’re up against professionals and you can’t buy that kind of exposure. They learn so much from it.”
County were, indeed, given a rugby lesson, and it is one they must make the most of quickly as they travel to Meadow Lane this Saturday for the return fixture and further instruction in the art of union football.
Nottingham dominated with tries from Javiah Pohe, Keifer Laxton, Morgan Eames, Joe Burton, Sam Isaacs and a brace from Sean Romans, one converted by Jacob Knight and five by Matthew Jarvis, who also chipped a penalty. In reply, Stirling had skipper Alex Moffat to thank for a touchdown that Stuart Edwards goalled but, otherwise, they could not breach the visitors’ defence.
The English Championship outfit were good value for their win, keeping the ball in hand and running at County at every opportunity. Their coach, Ben Johnston, was more than content with the outcome. “We’re very happy. It’s always tough to come to any Scottish team but we stuck to the task and boys delivered a really good performance,” he said.
Scorers: Stirling County – Try: Moffat. Con: Edwards. Nottingham – Tries: Pohe, Laxton, Romans (2), Eames, Burton, Isaacs. Cons: Jarvis (5), Knight. Pen: Jarvis.
Stirling County: B Addison; G Lindsay, D Gilmour, F Lyle, M Lamb; S Edwards, A Watt; J Bhatti, A Moffat, C Hutton, M Larsen, R Leishman, S Robertson, W Bordill, J Swanson. Subs: R Kennedy, K Burney, R Murray, S MacDonald, J Urquhart, J Hope, C Fail.
Nottingham: J Knight; S Isaacs, G Catchpole, J Pohe, R Hough; M Jarvis, S Romans; C Ma’afu, J Vickers, H Williams, N Keogh, M Eames, J Barron, K Laxton, J Burton. Subs: H Thacker, R Bower, D Montague, J Poullet, H Lee-Everton, N Foster, A Savage.
Referee: D Jones.