Mixed showing earns win bonus
County climb into the play-off places
Stirling County ....... 40 Marr ........................ 29
Stirling County moved into third spot in BT Premiership with a win over Marr at Bridgehaugh on Saturday.
At times they lacked composure, at others dominant, but ultimately, they had enough gas in the tank and firepower in the barrel to pull clear.
Marr took an early lead when a mix-up between Jericevich and skipper Jonny Hope gifted them a line-out 10 yards from the home line and a powerful drive allowed hooker Ollie Rossi to dive over.
Stirling levelled two minute later when Logan Trotter came off his wing to score under the posts. Hope slotted the conversion to edge his team ahead.
Kerr Gossman extended Stirling’s lead in the 22nd minute when he rode a tackle on the left wing and scrambled over.
Home second-row Callum HunterHill was shown a yellow-card just before the break for shoving Marr scrum-half Kaleem Barreto and it got even worse when another penalty allowed Marr to kick to the corner and set up a driven line-out from Mackenzie Pearce burst over the line.
Marr stand-off Craig Kolarik was yellowcarded after the interval and Stirling notched a penalty try.
Rather than kicking on, the hosts shot themselves in the foot by dropping the ball in midfield straight from the restart and then allowing the powerful Tom Steven to burst through some pretty pedestrian tackling to pull a try straight back.
With their tails up, Marr came again. Inside centre Conor Bickerstaff burst from midfield and the excellent Barreto carried the move on. The teenage scrum-half was eventually halted under the shadow of the posts, but Marr recycled well and right wing Scott Bickertaff powered home a few phases later. Dougie Steele converted both tries to give the visitors a 24-19 lead.
Now it was Striling’s turn to bounce back, and they managed to do so with a second Gossman try; and this time they did not take their foot off the gas, with Leishman’s offload out of contact allowing Emmison to show the dancing feet of an outside back when bamboozling the last man on his way to the line.
Marr rallied briefly, but Stirling swallowed it up this time, and after Trotter and Ruairidh Swan combined to send Leishman up the left touch-line, they grabbed try number six through Reyner Kennedy at the back of a line-out drive. To their credit, Marr battled to the end and they got their reward when Pearce scrambled over in the last play of the match.
The John Graham Metals Man of the Match was Logan Trotter.
Stirling County: L Bonar; L Trotter, R Curle, G Gilliland, K Gossman; J Hope, P Jericevich; M Macdonald, R Kennedy, G Holborn, C Hunter-Hill, J Beech, H Burr, C Fusaro, R Leishman. Subs: M Emmison, R Cheis, J Pow, S Macdonald, R Swan.
Marr: D Steele; S Bickerstaff, R Dalgleish, C Bickerstaff, T Steven; C Kolarik, K Barreto; G Jackson, O Rossie, W Farquhar, E Bulger, C Nisbet, B Johnston, M Pearce, R Miller. Subs used: G Jackson, C Craig, R Jackson, M Refydell, T Buchanan.
By David Barnes, www.theoffsideline. com