RBS Premiership: Heriot’s squeeze past Stirling

PHIL Smith had considerable cause for gratification on Saturday. The Heriot’s head coach saw his side put their hosts to the sword with a fine display.

Stirling County 13 - 18 Heriot’s

Scorers: Stirling County – Try: Hughes. Con: Archibald. Pens: Archibald (2). Heriot’s: Tries: Maltman, Fleming. Con: Wilson. Pens: Wilson (2).

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Referee: Cammy Rudkin.

The win continued Heriot’s’ improvement after the season’s opening-day disappointment that saw them go down at Melrose before bouncing back by beating Gala.

Smith was ebullient after the success at Stirling. “We controlled the whole game and we played some good stuff,” he said. “After week one we were pretty low but we’ve now got a bit of confidence and we are playing well.

“We’ve got a good group of players and no real injuries so, if we can keep them together for a few weeks, we can get a good run.”

Heriot’s comprehensively outplayed County and took an early lead after sustained pressure brought a penalty that Graham Wilson converted.

The hosts levelled 20 minutes later when Brian Archibald made amends for an earlier miss with the boot but, despite a short spell of pressure, they were unable to breach the Heriot’s line.

The Edinburgh men who broke upfield just before half-time and flanker Michael Maltman was able to barge over for a try that Wilson goalled.

Wilson and Archibald swapped kicks soon after the break but County never looked like besting their visitors and it was James Fleming who secured the points for Heriot’s with an unconverted try with a minute of normal time remaining.

Rory Hughes sprinted in for a consolation score that Archibald converted but it was never going to be enough.

Stirling head coach, Graeme Young was frank in his assessment. “I’m very disappointed. We were second best in a lot of areas, including the contact point, at the tackle and in defence.

“It just didn’t click for us today. Heriot’s came here with a bit more desire.”

Stirling County: J Hope; G Lindsay, B Addison, B Archibald, R Hughes; S Edwards, C Turnbull; J Bhatti, A Moffat, C Hutton, T Ryder, R Leishman, S Swindall, J Swanson, S MacDonald. Replacements: B Barsanti, R Kennedy, M Lamb, M Larsen, K Burney.

Heriot’s: L Steele; C Goudie, K Buchan, C Ferguson, H Boisseau; M Nimmo, G Wilson; C Owenson, G Turner, G Cameron, R Nimmo, M Douglas, M Maltman, J Hill, A Henderson. Replacements: S Mustard, M Welsh, J Turley, C Mulligan, J Fleming.