Neath 35 - 22 Stirling County: Black’s red turns tables
Stirling County were left to rue indiscipline as Alex Black saw red against Neath.
Scorers: Stirling: Tries: A Moffat, J Welsh, S Swindall. Cons: B Archibald (2). Pen: B Archibald. Neath: Tries: K James, L Jones, C Morgans, L Phillips. Cons: D Cummins (3). Pens: D Cummins (3).
Graeme Young’s men powered into a 14-0 lead at a snowy Gnoll, with Alex Moffat and Jon Welsh rumbling over.
But the hosts fought back with a Kevin James try before the game turned on its head when Black was dismissed for violent conduct. Neath almost instantly capitalised as scrum-half Black’s opposite number Luc Jones took a quick-tap and scampered clear to hand the hosts the lead.
Chris Morgans raced over for Neath’s third try, while Dean Cummins kept the scoreboard ticking over. They wrapped up the bonus-point near the end, with Lloyd Phillips collecting Dai Langdon’s clever grubber.
County battled to the death and were rewarded with a Steve Swindall consolation try deep in injury time. But Swindall said: “We were pretty disappointed with the result having been so dominant in the first-half. We struggled after our nine was sent off and didn’t adapt. We felt it was a bit of a harsh call and it ruined the game. But when you lose a player you have to step up and we didn’t do that.”
Stirling return to Premiership action and face basement boys Boroughmuir next week and Swindall reckons they will benefit from the defeat. He added: “We’re using the British & Irish Cup as a bit of a springboard for our league season and we have some big games coming up.”
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), S Jones, J Collier. Subs: R Davies, R Clancy, L Williams, L Ward, M Rees, M Jones, B Jones.
Stirling County: J Hope; M Lamb, D Gimlour, 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. Subs: E Kalman, C Hutton, R Hogg, S Robertson, C Turnbull, R Kennedy, R Boswell.
Referee: A Davies.
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