1st XV Match Reports

Aberdeen Grammar 17 Heriot’s 21

The major talking point after Aberdeen Grammar’s fifth consecutive defeat in the Premiership centred on whether the game should have been played to a conclusion after a number of players had to leave the pitch.

Referee Neil Paterson saw fit to allow play to continue in the most foul of weather. In fairness neither home coach Kevin Wyness or his Heriot’s counterpart Phil Smith lodged any complaint.

Wyness argued that conditions were the same for both sides and said: “Both sides experienced the same problems, in fact it should have suited our pack better.

“We seemed not to want to win, It was disappointing but we still have three games left.”

The worst affected player was Grammar’s two try scorer Tony McGinness who came off 10 minutes before the end of the game, clearly distressed, and requiring medical attention.

An ambulance was in fact called, but after treatment the flanker was able to join his team mates in the clubhouse.

The game had a dramatic and controversial end, as Heriot’s pushing to overcome a 17-14 deficit, deep into injury time, were awarded a try after five minutes of intensive pressure.

“The ball was never down, we had two pairs of hands under it,” insisted Greig Ryan the Grammar captain after replacement Robbie Tait had scored with the last play of the game. That leaving the Rubislaw side with the scant consolation of a losing bonus point, but four points adrift of fellow strugglers Currie who won at Glasgow Hawks.

Grammar had started brightly, going 10-0 up on the back of a McGinness try, converted by stand off Rob Aloe who also kicked a penalty and showed great composure, keeping his side on the front foot against the title-chasing Edinburgh side.

Heriot’s dominated the early part of the second half, scoring two tries, one of which was a penalty try, and the other from their best player and captain Jack Turley, both converted by Graham Wilson.

To their credit Grammar rallied, led by replacement Chris Allan who offloaded to McGinness to take a 17-14 lead in 74 minutes after Aloe had added the conversion.

But Heriot’s had the last word on a day that players, officials and spectators will wish to forget.

© Jack Nixon

Aberdeen Grammar: Steve Aitken; Angus Rennie, Harry Duthie, Greig Ryan, Erlend Oag; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sean O’Connor; Struan Cessford; Stuart Smith, Jamie Metcalfe; Sam Bingham, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.

Replacements: Matt Schosser, Chris Allan, Ally Mackie, Sam Ryan, Mark Ryan.

Heriot’s: Colin Goudie; Liam Steele, Keith Buchan, Rory Carmichael, Harry Boisseau; OJ Brown, Graham Wilson; Nathan Borel, George Turner, Stewart Mustard; Murray Douglas, Ken MacKenzie; Jason Hill, Chris Mulligan, Jack Turley.

Replacements: Malcolm Welch, Scott Burnside, Robbie Tait, Kit Gammell, David McMaster.