Selkirk 18 Aberdeen Rugby 9
Aberdeen Grammar’s grim struggle against the threat of relegation continued at Selkirk on Saturday where the Rubislaw men came up two points short of collecting a losing bonus point in an 18-9 defeat. The consolation for the travellers came when news was confirmed Hamilton and Howe of Fife, the two sides beneath them in the table, had also lost.
John Stewart, the Grammar tem manager, said: “We really should not be depending on other clubs, but at this stage in our campaign we will settle for anything we can get.
“We probably deserved to take something out of the game, especially as the conditions were appalling.
“There were some outstanding performances from our players, including a great debut for teenager Ben Renton, who came on in the second half.
“Centre Tom Aplin kicked well, knocking over three penalties for us, but we were not helped by picking up two yellow cards. Hooker Fergus McKenzie and Robin Cessford were the pick of our forwards.
Grammar started brightly on the sodden Philiphaugh pitch, racing into a six-point lead in the first 20 minutes thanks to two well-struck penalties from the boot of Aplin before Selkirk’s scrum half Michael Davies raced over in 25 minutes for the first of their three unconverted tries.
Craig Whyte, the home side’s left winger, was a continual threat to the Grammar defence, but the Border side had to rely on full back Ciaran Whyte to kick a penalty to turn round 8-6 in the lead at half time.
The home side continued to dominate in the second period and it was no surprise when they increased their lead through hooker James Bett who crashed over for a try. Grammar rallied, but could only muster another Aplin penalty, and it was flanker Ian Oosthuizen who had the last word, racing through the visitors’ defence for a third try which Whyte again failed to convert.
Despite Grammar’s desperate attempts they were unable to close the gap, but remain seven points above Hamilton and 12 above bottom club Howe of Fife with six games remaining, including a trip to leaders Marr on Saturday.
Stewart added: “we don’t have the easiest of run-ins but the players are determined to get themselves out of danger.”
Selkirk: Ciaran Whyte; Tythan Adams, Daren Clapperton, Ross Nixon, Callum McEwan;
Gavin Craig, Mikey Davies; Kieran Cooney, James Bett, Bonekeke Siyothula; Robert Cook, Peter Forrest; Ian Oosthuizen, Matt Robertson, Craig MacDougall.
Replacements: Frazer Anderson, Josh Mackay, Michael Waldron.
Aberdeen Rugby: Doug Russell; Grant Walker, Alex Ratcliffe, Tom Aplin, Ben Renton; Sam Knudson, Jake Gray; Rob Ellinson, Fergus McKenzie, Colin Neilson; Aaron Robertson, Robin Cessford; Christian Brew, Conall Howard, Chris Jollands.
Replacements: Ross Anderson, Shane Clark, Dom Wallen, Craig Shepherd, Ethan Murray.