British & Irish Cup: Stirling County 22 - 32 Bedwas

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IT WAS hard not to feel some sympathy for Stirling at the end of a match they lost but to which they contributed in full measure.

Switched to Dunbar because of a frozen pitch at Bridgehaugh, County gave their Welsh visitors a torrid time until late in the second half when they finally succumbed, but they can take some comfort from having secured a four-try bonus point.

Stirling, in fact, led for much of this contest, having notched first-half tries through Byron McGuigan and Mike McDonald, while Bedwas countered with a touchdown by Rory Budina and a penalty from Ethan Davies.

Turning into a blustery gale after the break, it was County who defied the conditions when Ross Aitken scored, Stuart Edwards adding the extra points. Thereafter, Bedwas took control, with Elliot Dee narrowing the deficit, Davies again converting, before James Thomas, Derrie Mattravers and Ross Wardle put the contest beyond Stirling, Davies also chipping in a conversion.

The ever-industrious Craig Deacons grabbed a consolation try to secure the bonus point, but it was not enough.