DUNFERMLINE Rugby Club's under-16s missed out on Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup glory as they fell to defeat in the final on Sunday.

The McKane Park club's 2008s travelled to Aberdeen for the match with Stirling County, who they defeated last year in the under-15 showpiece 8-7, but lost another tight encounter this time around 26-21.

The game was held as part of a Caledonia Cup finals day, at Robert Gordon College, which is the largest regional event of its kind in Scotland, with silverware on offer in cup, shield, bowl and plate events at different age groups.

Both teams showed strong defence in the opening 40 minutes, but it was Stirling who went into the interval ahead, after a defensive error led to an intercepted pass that resulted in a converted try under the posts.

Dunfermline fell further behind to another converted score just after the restart when, from their kick off, the ball dropped short of the 10 metre line.

Although County played and knocked the ball on, they were awarded a scrum on the centre spot, from which they took advantage to cross the whitewash for a second time.

Dunfermline responded, however, and a move from within their own half saw inside centre Brodie Cunningham break through the County rush defence for a 55-metre try, converted by Calum Lee, to bring them back within seven points.

They conceded a third converted try, to trail 21-7, before their pack showed their dominance to see second row, Cameron Hynd, go over for a try, which Lee converted.

A great run by number eight, Scott Megehey, secured a third try for Dunfermline and, faced with a tough kick out wide against a strong wind, Lee added the extras to pull them level.

However, with time running out, Stirling managed to score another try, which they didn't convert, and Dunfermline, despite feeling aggrieved at not being award a late penalty after they felt County should have been penalised in a ruck, missed out on lifting the trophy.

Coach Dave Mallinson said: "Although we were disappointed at the final result, we were delighted at the way in which the Dunfermline team played the game, and in their resilience in responding to the two converted tries conceded just before and after the interval.

"It was a really exciting and well fought game, played by two very good teams, and a fitting finale to the 2024 Caledonia Under-16 cup final.

"The team now disbands, with the players either moving up to Dunfermline under-18s, staying at under-16 with the club, due to their later birth dates, or, for some, moving on to different pastures.

"But, for all, we hope they have enjoyed their time for the Dunfermline 2008 team."