Dundee HSFP’s interest in the BT Cup ended in a steady downpour against Premiership side Stirling County but there was some encouragement for the Mayfield faithful despite the scoreline.
County scored six tries and dominated both the close exchanges and the setpiece but High fought tenaciously and looked to have the better set of backs with a number of clean breaks.
However they were confined to just a couple of first half tries from skipper Andy Dymock and Jonny Gibson and couldn’t secure enough ball from scrum and lineout to give their impressive midfield of Ewan Fox, Jack Broadley and Duncan Leese something to work with.
Instead County’s huge pack with Ruaridh Leishman and Adam Sinclair impressive proved too much for a High unit missing mainstay Alan Brown.
County’s power was evident from the first few minutes, a scrum penalty as they shoved Dundee off their own ball followed by a powerful lineout drive that ended with huge tight head Colin Hutton smashing over the line.
Johnny Hope converted and the visitors looked hungry for more only to be denied by some furious scrambling defence by the home side, who snatched a gift just after quarter of an hour.
High skipper Andy Dymock took the gamble on opposite number Matt Donaldson’s telegraphed pass, intercepted and scampered 70 metres for the try at the opposite end, Fox converting.
Within four minutes County regained the lead with Leishman being sprung down an undermanned blind side, and the pacy No 8 kicked ahead and won the race for the ball, Hope again adding the extras.
Duncan Leese’s try-saving tackle on Logan Trotter saved a certain try just before the half-hour but it was delayed only briefly with Sinclair finishing off the lineout maul.
But Dundee bounced back almost immediately with a charge and neat off-load from George Arnott allowing prop Jonny Gibson to go over in the corner.
The home side had further chances with a number of line breaks but after the break the County pack started to flex their muscle again and prop Mike MacDonald went over for the fourth try from another powerful lineout maul.
Another turnover at setpiece in the High 22 brought the fifth score for the visitors just before the hour, Matt Jones’ neat grubber allowing Andrew Grant-Suttie to get the final touch.
Dundee deserved something more out of the game with a series of bright attacks but County’s defence held firm and they broke away in the dying minutes for a Jones try which went unconverted.
Dundee HSFP: F McKay; R Fairweather, D Leese, J Broadley, C Bowie, E Fox, A Dymock; J Gibson, C Mathieson, L McLean; J Anderson, G Arnott, C Strachan, D Turner, A Fraser.
Stirling County: L Bonar; S MacDonald., J Hope, A Black, L Trotter; R Jones, M Donaldson; M MacDonald, R Kennedy, C Hutton; S Yarrow, A Sinclair; A Grant-Suttie, M Emmison, R Leishman.
Ref: H Walbaum (RFU)