BOROUGHMUIR Bears battled back to beat Stirling County 23-17 at Meggetland yesterday, but the Edinburgh side remain bottom of the table as Super6 begins its brief mid-season break.
The Bears, whose only previous win had come against Heriot’s on the opening night of the tournament, were up against it for much of the game.
But, against opponents who missed two penalties and two conversion attempts, Graham Shiel’s side showed the strength of character to claim a morale-boosting result.
Tries by Euan Ferrie and Tom Brown were the key scores in a second half which saw the Bears score 17 points to County’s five, while stand-off Tom Pittman converted both and hit a late drop goal to add to his two first-half penalties. County touched down through Dean Taylor-Menzies, Archie Russell and Tom Roche, with Craig Robertson adding a conversion.
“At half-time we were wondering how we were going to get into the game,” Shiel admitted. “County had the majority of first-half possession, but the penalty we had on the verge of half-time to make it 6-12 was important. In the second half we edged it in parts, and when we got into their 22 we took our points.”
County are now the only team to have won just one game, and their head coach Ben Cairns believes his squad have some serious self-examination to do in the break. “We need to be honest with ourselves and ask why we didn’t win,” he said. “There’s no point saying we should have won. We’ve only won one game in the first five and we need to be better than that.”
Watsonians top the table at the halfway stage thanks to their 32-21 victory over the Southern Knights on Friday night at Myreside. The home team were eight points down at half-time, but not for the first time this season finished as the significantly stronger team.
Ayrshire Bulls, meanwhile, are not far behind the leading pair after a comprehensive win over Heriot’s at Millbrae on Saturday. Captain and No 8 Blair MacPherson scored a hat-trick for the home side in the 41-7 rout, which saw the Bulls pack in control almost from the first minute to the last.
Heriot’s, who are now just a point ahead of Boroughmuir at the foot of the table, visit Watsonians when the competition resumes in 12 days’ time. In the other fixtures in round six the Bulls are at home to County while Boroughmuir host the Knights.