Colts v Stirling – 10.1.15

Stirling County Colts 19 – Saints Colts 10

Saints Colts travelled to Stirling with their strongest squad of the season. The conditions were not good. Saints defended the Stirling kick-off with the wind at their backs and made inroads into the home territory. The game went then through a tense passage of play with both sides gaining and losing ground. Poor Saints discipline gave Stirling too much territorial advantage and the home side capitalized on this by scoring in a convertible position. The resultant score of 7 – 0 remained until half time.

Saints turned round knowing they had an enormous task ahead of them. Not only were they up against a well-drilled Stirling team but they also had to fight their way up the field in the teeth of horrendous weather. Yet again the forwards did stalwart work and were twice in scoring positions only to have decisions given against them. Stirling capitalized on this, scoring an unconverted try.

For many sides, going down 12 – 0 in poor conditions would have weakened morale and allowed the opposition floodgates to open. The opposite effect happened with the young Saints. Strength of character and determined forward play allowed Hyslop to score in the corner. Fitzpatrick was allowed to repeat the process. The score was now 12 – 10 to the home side who were starting to make unforced errors in spite of their weather advantage.

Saints persisted with their driving forward play and were closing on the Stirling try line when one of the home players deliberately knocked the ball on. Far from being shown the yellow card, he was allowed to kick the ball forty yards forward and in spite of last-ditch defence Stirling scored a converted try.   The 19 – 10 score remained until the final whistle.

Saints ‘Man of the Match’ was King for his persistent driving forward play and unselfish offloading of the ball. In spite of the loss this was an excellent performance against a team that has produced Scottish Cup winners in five of the last seven years.

Team: Dodd, Nairn, Hyslop, O’Donnell, Howatson, Hogg, Carlisle, Blandford, McHenry, Gracie, Braid, Clyde , Jackson, Lindsay, Martin, Fitzpatrick (Capt), McMorran, King, Willetts, Kennedy