County had taken an early lead when Ali Mackie barged over, Jonny Hope converting. Ayr hit back almost immediately when Fraser Climo finished a break by Kyle Row, and added the extras, but Ewan MacGarvie and Andrew Orr both breached the visitors’ defence midway through the first period.
Ayr fought back again when Paddy Dewhurst sprinted in for a touchdown that narrowed the deficit and it was reduced still further when Climo chipped a penalty late in the half.
Stirling went further ahead soon after the interval when Peter Jericevich pounced on a loose ball and dived in to earn a try-scoring bonus point. Hope then added a penalty as the match approached its final quarter.
Ayr came tantalisingly close to County with 75 minutes on the clock when the forwards drove over and Steven Longwell touched down, Climo converting, and then broke County’s fans hearts when Dewhurst scampered in for the winning try.