Stirling County took maximum points with a bonus point secured before half-time as they narrowed the gap between themselves and Boroughmuir in the Tennent’s Premiership.
The game was between two teams bundled together in the lower half of the table, both safe from the threat of relegation but neither with any realistic prospect of making the play-offs.
However, both clubs hold Super Six franchises and will be part of next season’s radical new league structure, even if it is not yet clear what that structure will actually be or how it will work.
Muir lost to league leaders Ayr last weekend but were still on a bit of a high after putting more than 70 points past Edinburgh Accies earlier this month. County had to go back to November to find their last win, also against Accies.
Muir drew first blood in the first few minutes when the ball squirted out the side of a set scrum inside the Stirling 22 and inside centre Greg Cannie scooped it up to run in unopposed to score. Gavin Parker added the conversion.
Stirling hit straight back with scrum-half Peter Jerecivich scampering in for a try wide on the left. Stand-off Andrew Goudie couldn’t make the conversion.
Play was concentrated in midfield for a spell as both sides tried to find gaps in defences that held firm until County’s Glasgow pro Ratu Tagive burst up the left wing to set up a five-metre scrum. When Muir were pushed back they collapsed it and the referee awarded a penalty try.
Muir worked their way slowly up the pitch but were penned back in the corner by full-back Jonny Hope’s long punt. Second and third phase ball saw centre Euan Macgarvie crash over. Gaudie converted. The bonus try also came from Macgarvie, latching on to an inspired off-load from winger Logan Trotter to cross the line. Gaudie converted.
Just before half-time Muir got on the scoreboard again with a try by lock Will Inglis, converted by Parker.
After the break Stirling continued to dictate the course and tempo of play but Gaudie missed a long-range penalty attempt and Hope was sin-binned for killing the ball at a ruck allowing Muir No.8 Rory Drummond to exploit the extra space to break a couple of tackles and touch down behind the posts. Parker converted.
However, after the Stirling scrum had marched Muir back ten metres Jerecivic picked up and sprinted in for his second, and his team’s fifth, try. Gaudie converted and added a penalty to edge Stirling 15 points ahead and make them fireproof.
Muir still had a try in them, scored by hooker Johnny Matthews to earn a consolation bonus point. Parker converted.
Stirling, though, had two, both scored by Craig Robertson, to make it seven overall.