1st XV Match Reports

Aberdeen Grammar 19 Ayr 25

21 September 2013

Aberdeen Grammar 19 Ayr 25

Aberdeen Grammar squandered a great opportunity to topple Premiership champions Ayr as they let slip a 16-5 lead.

Coach Kevin Wyness was frustrated by his side’s inability to control the game in the second half.

He said: ”It was a hugely disappointing outcome for us after dictating the play for most of the first half.

“Losing a soft try on the stroke of half time was a turning point. Had we gone in 16-5 up,it would have been different.

“We then lost another silly try, making it a bad day for us. Although we played well enough to win and had some fine individual performances, including a great show from open side flanker Tony McGinness.”

Wyness who had to be consoled by a losing bonus point for the display against an Ayr side relieved to have stopped a run of defeats.

“I am pleased to have won after two defeats. This is a hard place to come and win. We’renow back in the title race,” said Ayr head coach Peter Laverie.

Ayr had made the best of starts, scoring in four minutes when Robbie Fergusson got on the end of a slick handling move for an unconverted try.

Grammar hit back in eight minutes when stand-off Mark Ryan kicked the first of his three first-half penalties, confirming his value to the Rubislaw side.

Thanks to the effective work of the home pack, admirably led by number eight Tom Preece, Grammar were able to score the try their play merited when openside flanker McGinness nipped over to give his side the lead. Ryan converted.

The former Ellon player then kicked two vital penalties just before the break.

However, Grammar’s slackness gave away a try on the stroke of half-time, scored by Andrew Dunlop and converted by winger Kerr Gossman to make it 16-12.

Ayr built on the unexpected reprieve, upping the play in the second half. However, it was Ryan who pushed Grammar further ahead with a penalty.

The Milbrae side then enjoyed the bounce of the ball in 62 minutes. Three of their pack looked to be offside, but the incident was not spotted by referee Lloyd Linton, enabling Murray McConnell to score the easiest of tries. The score was converted by Ross Curle which levelled the match at 19-19.

Ayr finished the stronger, pressurising the harassed home defence into conceding two late penalties which were kicked by Curle for a victory they just about merited for an improved second-half showing.

Scotland international Moray Low was impressive on his return to the Grammar ranks from Glasgow and said: “I enjoyed being back and thought we were a bit unlucky not to win.”

Aberdeen Grammar: Angus Rennie; Calum Gordon, Will Wardlaw, Harry Duthie, Erland Oag; Mark Ryan, Luke Earle-Wright; Moray Low, Sean O’Connor, Struan Cessford, Ed Nimmons, Jamie Metcalfe, Greig Ryan (captain), Tony McGuiness and Tom Preece. Replacements: Fraser Brown, Matt Schosser, Callum Harvey, Sam Ryan and Morgan Ward.

Ayr: Grant Anderson; Craig Gossman, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman; Finn Russell, Peter Jericevich; Denford Mutamangira, Fergus Scott, Nick Cox, Scott Sutherland, Callum Templeton, Graham Fisken, Andrew Dunlop and Calum Forrester (captain). Replacements: Stuart Fenwick, George Hunter, Peter McCallum, Murray McConnell and Ross Curle.

Referee: Lloyd Linton

© Jack Nixon