STIRLING County pushed the self-destruct button in Wales as Neath fought back in the British & Irish Cup, writes Caio Iwan at The Gnoll.
At a snowed-under Gnoll, the away side led 14-0 courtesy of two early tries from front row forwards Alex Moffat and Jon Welsh – the second resulting in Neath’s Owain Ford being sin-binned for deliberately pulling down a maul.
County’s Bengi Barsanti was then yellow-carded after a high tackle and was joined minutes later by Neath’s Rhys Jones for the same offence.
More ill-discipline followed in the second half of the heated encounter with Stirling County scrum-half Alex Black sent off for violent conduct within a minute of the re-start.
Neath quickly capitalised on their numerical advantage and Black’s opposite number and man of the match, Luc Jones, went over from a quick tap to give the Welsh side the lead for the first time.
A late Country try redeemed some pride, but the hosts took advantage of the extra man and held on for a 35-22 win.
The result means County finish third in Pool 2 after winning twice and losing on four occasions in their debut season in the cup.
Neath: K Davies; K James, L Phillips, D Cummins, C Morgans; D Langdon; L Jones; O Ford, A W Davies, C Jones, Rh Jones, J Griffiths, L Evans (capt), J Collier. Replacements: R Davies, Rh Clancy, L Williams, L Ward, M Rees, M Jones, B Jones.
Stirling County: J Hope; M Lamb, D Gilmour, B Archibald, R Aitken; S Edwards; A Black; J Welsh, A Moffat (capt), G Mountford, R McAlpine, C Deacons, T Clarke, S Swindall, B Barsanti. Replacements: E Kalman, C Hutton, R Hogg, S Robertson, C Turnbull, R Kennedy, R Boswell.