Stirling County 30 Falkirk 16 STIRLING County got their cup campaign off to a flying start with a 4-try bonus-point home win over neighbours Falkirk in the Caledonian Cup.

Both teams toiled in heavy under-foot conditions, but managed to entertain the large crowd, who witnessed the first competitive match between the two clubs for many years.

Falkirk started well and put the home-side under pressure with searching breaks by ex-County backs Johnny Hope and Finn Russell. County began to find their feet and following a prolonged period in the visitors' 22, Stevie Swindall was driven over for the opening try after 10 minutes, converted by Brian Archibald.

Twelve minutes later Danny Gilmour powered over the line, after the ball was moved to the left, stretching the Falkirk defence, to take the score to 12 - 0.

Hope scored two penalties on 25 and 40 minutes, with Archibald notching one on 38 minutes to take the score at the break to 15 - 6 in County's favour.

Hope and Archibald exchanged further penalties on 45 and 50 minutes respectively, the latter awarded after Falkirk succumbed to County's forward pressure in the scrum.

Bengi Barsanti bull-dozed over for a try on the hour mark, converted by Archibald to extend County's lead to 25-9, before Mike Doneghan secured the bonus-point win with his side's fourth try with five minutes remaining.

In the final play of the match Falkirk's Cole Ronald touched down under the posts, converted by Hope to make the final score 30 -16 to County.

Scorers: County - Tries: Swindall, Gilmour, Barsanti, Doneghan. Conv.: Archibald (2). Pens.: Archibald (2).

Falkirk - Try: Ronald. Conv.: Hope. Pens.: Hope (3).