Currie 21-39 Stirling County: Hughes hat-trick

A HAT-TRICK of tries for Rory Hughes in the final five minutes of a pulsating encounter handed Stirling County a vital bonus-point win, with Currie ruing their inability to convert pressure into points, writes Colin Renton at Malleny Park.

Jamie Forbes and Brian Archibald traded early penalties but the hosts paid for failing to build a lead when Tim Clarke pounced on a Forbes fumble and raced in at the corner.

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Currie lacked the clinical edge of their opponents who extended their advantage when the ball was turned over inside the County 22 and shipped out to Robbie Boswell, who eluded two defenders to touch down. Archibald converted then responded in kind to another Forbes penalty to see County into an 18-6 interval lead.

Forbes landed his third penalty and sparked a renewed spell of Currie pressure. A heroic defensive effort kept the hosts at bay until the 55th minute when Chris Leck plunged over for an unconverted try. And Currie went ahead for the first time when Malcolm Peacock sidestepped over then Forbes converted.

That sparked County into action and they mounted an incredible finale that saw Hughes sprint in for his hat-trick of tries, with Archibald converting all three.