By Hugh Barrow
Seven try thriller
A clear and breezy setting welcomed the players for Round 9 of Tennent’s Premier action at Bridgehaugh for the encounter between Stirling County and Glasgow Hawks.
It was Hawks who took an early lead with Robert Beattie evading the opposing tackles to go over the whitewash.
The boot of Ross Thompson extended the lead with the conversion, followed by a penalty from the right of the posts (0-10).
Stirling then pilled on the pressure as they looked to get back into the match and thought they had scored in the 28th minute but the ball was knocked on before it could be grounded.
Handling errors costed Stirling making the most of their opportunities in the initial stages, but then it all came together just before the break - Ali Mackie bringing the home support to life after stretching over the line.
A wonderful run from inside his own half by Andrew Goudie added a second try just a few moments later, taking full advantage of a Hawks knock on.
The lead was then extended by 11 points when Grant Hughes darted in off the right wing to complete a frenetic few minutes of rugby by the hosts. Goudie successfully converted all three tries.
Hawks added a penalty before the break from the boot of Thompson with the score 21-13 at half time.
The start of the second half saw Hawks regain the lead with two tries from Jack Macready and James Cooper, both converted by the reliable boot of Scotland U21 international Thompson to hold a 21-27 lead.
The game then turned on its head when Fraser Hastie was shown a yellow card for the visitors with 5 minutes remaining.
With 14 men, Hawks found themselves up against it and the pressure took its toll when Andrew Bundy went over to score. However, Goudie missed the resulting conversion with his side now trailing by just a single point (29-30).
The missed kick wasn’t to matter, though, as Matt Emmison sealed it with a try in the corner deep into injury time to spark celebrations from the Stirling supporters, collecting a bonus point win 34-30 to conclude a pulsating contest.
Stirling County RFC: Craig Robertson; Andrew McLean, Ewan Magarvie, Grant Hughes; John Brogan, Andrew Goudie, Peter Jerecivich, Remy Chies, Reyner Kennedy, Murphy Walker, James Pow, Cameron Henderson, Hamilton Burr, George Arnott, Ali Mackie. Matt Emmison, Adam Nicol, Ross Bundy, Harry Henderson, Bruce Sorbie.
Glasgow Hawks RFC: Robert Bettie; Glen Faulds, Mark New, Cammy Symes; James Couper, Ross Thompson, Kaleem Barreto, Gary Strain, Paul Cairncross, Lewis Skinner, Andrew Kirkland, Charlie Thompson, Jack Gemmell, Struan Dow, Fraser Hastie, Paul Henderson, Dan York, Liam Brims, Paddy Boyer, Jack Macready.
Updated 19:33 - 27 Oct 2018 by Hugh Barrow