Dalziel Rugby Club
DALZIEL Rugby Club were undone by higher league Stirling County in their third Premier Cup match of the season on Saturday.
Both teams took the field in bright sunshine but supporters were thin on the ground, with many opting to head to Murrayfield for the Six Nations international between Scotland and Wales.
This was County’s first visit at senior level to North Lanarkshire for 23 years and they took the match to Premier Three Dalziel from the first whistle.
Ross Aitken sprinted home for the opening try early on, which was converted by Stuart Edwards.
Five minutes later, Stirling ran out of defence to claim a length-of-the-pitch try, finished by Ben Addisonm to make it 12-0 for the visitors.
Dalziel upped their intensity as they began to string a number of attacks together.
Good breaks by Barry Turnbull and Ross Donachie encouraged the Motherwell lads and when John Goldie broke clear a home score seemed on the cards before Stirling’s Gordon McRorie’s excellent cover tackle.
Dalziel then squandered a three-on-one man advantage close to the County line.
Edwards slotted a drop-goal to increase the County lead to 15-0 midway through the half and they claimed a third try when Struan Robertson was driven over to take the score to 20-0 at half-time
Dalziel rallied in the second half and dominated territory, forcing Stirling to concede a penalty.
Captain Craig Simmonds opted against the three points and from a resulting line-out Craig Lewis went over to score.
Robert Simpson converted to make it 20-7.
Robbie Boswell responded for County with a 40-metre sprint to the line before an Edwards penalty and a well-worked Lindsay try, which was converted made it 32-7.
Dalziel were not out of it and claimed a second score through Euan Stewart after some excellent support play, Simpson converting again.
They continued to have plenty of ball and hammered away at the Stirling defence, with Crawford Reid and Steven Findlay both held up short, but in the end streetwise Stirling claimed the win.
County move back to the top of their pool in the Premier Cup but in order to progress will require Peebles to beat Boroughmuir to stop the Edinburgh side qualifying.
This weekend Dalziel will be determined to get back to winning ways in their league clash at Haddington.
Dalziel: Simpson, Mitchell, Aitken, Czarnocki, Goldie, Harris, Donnachie, Finlay, Lewis, Barclay, Watters, Ferguson, Armstrong, Reid, Simmonds. Replacements: Turnbull, Sloan, Johnstone, Stewart. Man of the match, Craig Simmonds.
Scorers: Dalziel, tries: Lewis, Goldie. Conversions, Simpson (2).
Stirling County: Addison, Lindsay, Gilliland, Lyle, Aitken, Edwards, McRorie, McDonald, Simpson, G. Mountford, Deacons, D. Mountford, S Robertson, Barsanti, Clarke. Replacements: Black, Moffat, Boswell, C Robertson.
Scorers: Stirling, tries: Aitken, Addison, Robertson, Boswell, Lindsay. Conversions, Edwards (2); drop goal: Edwards.