Stirling triumphed in a game that was plagued with stoppages and injuries.
The Stirling Clansmen defeated Leeds Gryphons 19-8 in their first game of 2022.
In the first quarter, Stirling took an early lead scoring two touchdowns in quick succession. Both attempts at a 2-point conversion were incomplete.
Early in the second quarter, Leeds got on the board, as Stirling conceded a safety, due to a false snap. The rest of the quarter was much closer, with the ball changing hands several times without any team making significant forward progress.
The Gryphons then mounted a charge as the half neared conclusion but the Stirling defence intercepted and returned for an 80-yard touchdown. This time opting for the field goal and converting to lead 19-2 at halftime.
The second half started slowly with several injuries from both sides halting play. The theme of the game continued as the sides went back and forth with little progress before Leeds mounted a late surge resulting in a touchdown.
The score would remain 19-8 as the fourth quarter brought an end to a well-fought victory.
Following the game, special teams coach Stuart Gilmour gave his thoughts: “It was a tough game, with tough opponents and tough conditions. What was important is that we got the job done in the end.
“We manage to get some inexperienced guys game time and our focus is now on the next game.
“Looking forward we are expecting tougher games, next up is Nottingham, the number one seed in the Brit Bowl.
“Then back here to play Durham in the homecoming game – which will be an emotional day for all the guys.”
The victory takes the Clansmen 2-4 for the season and all but secures a play-off place come spring.
Stirling Clansmen play their final game of the league season at home February 13 against Durham Saints. The game kicks off at 1:00pm down at the artificial pitches.
Feature Image Credit: Joseph Obawole @aj_tropolis