“At half-time we were wondering how we were going to get into the game,” admitted Bears coach Graham Shiel, whose team remain bottom of the table despite the win as the tournament goes into its mid-season break. “County had the majority of first-half possession, but the penalty we had on the verge of half-time to make it 6-12 was important. In the second half we edged it in parts, and when we got into their 22 we took our points.”
Dean Taylor-Menzies and Archie Russell claimed the tries that had County in front at the break, with Craig Robertson converting the second, while two Tom Pittman penalties kept the Bears in the hunt. The second was the last kick of the half, awarded after Connor Gordon was yellow-carded for a needless high tackle.
Fourteen-man Stirling weathered the storm well in the opening stages of the second half, but full-back Robertson was off target with a penalty that would have stretched their lead to nine points - one of several misses with the boot that in the end proved costly. Growing in self-belief, the Bears went ahead on the hour mark when substitute Euan Ferrie touched down and Pittman converted, and that was followed by another try from Tom Brown, with the stand-off again adding the two points.
County reduced the deficit five minutes from time when winger Tom Roche finished off after Robertson had kicked through, but the home side had the last word when Pittman calmly dropped a goal two minutes from time.
“We need to be honest with ourselves and ask why we didn’t win,” Stirling County coach Ben Cairns said. “There’s no point saying we should have won. We’ve only won one game in the first five and we need to be better than that.”