British & Irish Cup: Stirling County wilt as Bedwas fight back

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STIRLING County head coach Graeme Young was quick to accentuate the positives after his side relinquished a lead as they were overpowered in the later stages of this British and Irish Cup encounter.

Scorers: Stirling County – Tries: McGuigan, McDonald, Aitken, Deacons. Con: Edwards. Bedwas – Tries: Budina, Dee, Thomas, Mattravers, Wardle. Cons: E Davies (2). Pen: E Davies.

“We ran out of steam a bit towards the end but the objective for the match was development. We wanted to give all of our guys an opportunity to play, especially some of the fringe players like Colin Hutton and Reyner Kennedy, against quality opposition.

“I’m disappointed we lost but was really pleased with the performance. The guys did very well in what were pretty difficult conditions.

Now we need to build on that.”

Stirling had also relinquished home advantage as the game was switched to Dunbar, the ground at Bridgehaugh having been declared unplayable early on Saturday. And Young had good cause to single out Hutton and Kennedy, the two young front-rowers putting in splendid shifts against the semi-pros from Wales.

County had led for much of the match thanks to tries by Byron McGuigan, Mike McDonald and Ross Aitken, the last converted by Stuart Edwards. But Bedwas, who recorded their first B&I Cup win this season, always looked formidable. They stayed in contention with a first-half score by Rory Budina and a penalty by Ethan Davies but surged away when Elliot Dee, James Thomas, Derrie Mattravers and Ross Wardle breached the Stirling defence, Davies converting two of the tries.

Craig Deacons earned Stirling a bonus point with a late consolation try but it was too little, too late.

Stirling County: B Addison; G Lindsay, B McGuigan, D Gilmour, R Aitken; S Edwards, S Kennedy; M McDonald, R Kennedy, C Hutton, R Leishman, C Deacons, A Ashe, S Swindall, T Clarke. Subs: J Bhatti, J Forrester, S Raby, S Robertson, B Archibald, M Bennett, M Lamb.

Bedwas: L Hudd; R Budina, R Wardle, M Pewtner, M John; E Davies, T Rowlands; I George, E Dee, M Petit, P Rees, K Maiden, S Grainger, A Harris, D Mattravers. Subs: KGay, D Preece, B Roberts, S Feehan, L Davies, J Thomas, S Williams.

Referee: A Jackson.