The Stirling Clansmen were defeated 3-47 by Nottingham Gold in Bryce Stevenson’s first home game as head coach.
A slow start resulted in a quickfire touchdown for the travelling side, pinning Stirling inside their own 40 early in the first quarter. Nottingham would score again before Stirling pushed back with a strong run from deep followed by a well-worked pass, leaving Stirling one yard short of goal. Unfortunately, a fumble led to a turnover in possession. 0-12
The second quarter demonstrated the ability that Stirling have within the ranks, a strong defensive performance kept Nottingham at bay, but Stirling struggled to make progress following the turnover, resulting in a punt. Late in the quarter, Nottingham scored, this time completing a two-point conversion. 0-20
Stirling started the second half well, capitalising on an early fumble and making good yards. Penalties cost the Clansmen vital yards inside the 10, resulting in a call to take the field goal. Some decisions did not favour Stirling and Nottingham took advantage, securing the victory with two touchdowns in quick succession. 3-33
With the victory secured, Nottingham Gold scored twice more in the fourth quarter to round off a successful day for the away side. 3-47
In truth, the scoreline did not reflect the performance and effort from the Clansmen against a strong Nottingham Gold side. Nottingham goes 2-0 with the victory while Stirling look for their first win of the season next weekend in Leeds.
Speaking about his time in charge so far, head coach Bryce Stevenson had this to say following the game:
“It’s been a massive challenge coming in with only 5-6 weeks preseason, but when the opportunity arose for me to come to Stirling, I had to take it.
“The guys are great since we came in, it’s obviously not a great start starting 0 and 2, however, we know that we can turn this around and the mood is still positive in the camp going onto 3 next week.
“I feel like this week, against a very strong Nottingham team who have been very well recruited over the last couple of years, the scoreline doesn’t pay as much justice as it could have.”
Despite the result, there were many positives to take from the game.
“Today was a massive improvement from last week especially in the first half – both offensively and defensively. We made a couple of adjustments this week and they seemed to pay off so the guys are starting to buy into that sort of coaching now and seeing that when we do say things, it works.”
“There are positives to take from the game and I’m absolutely delighted about the way that we played. Obviously the result goes a long way from that but we’ve just got to keep fighting.”Bryce Stevenson
“This division, especially in the north is such a competitive division that on another day we could have turned this result. We’ll see what happens when we go down to Nottingham.”
Stirling Clansmen will look to bounce back next weekend away to Leeds Gryphons who currently sit 0-1 in the division. Looking ahead, Stevenson said:
“It’s just about maintaining that composure, especially in the first half.
“Last week was an away game for us, we travelled down on the same day we played, and we didn’t get off the bus until the end of the second quarter. We played much better in the second half.
“Today was almost a flip of that, we didn’t play so well in the second half so the focus will be trying to maintain a certain level and moving forward from there.”
Feature image credit: Katie Stepek Photography