1st XV Match Reports

Aberdeen Grammar 28 Biggar 7

Aberdeen Grammar took a significant step away from the National League 1 relegation area with an edgy three-try Rubislaw win against fellow strugglers Biggar.

Hillhead Jordanhill are already relegated and Biggar now look favourites to join them.

Relieved Grammar coach Stuart Corsar said: “We did what we had to do, although we should never have been in this position. We now need to push for a mid-table place.

“This was a solid win. We won well, although we allowed them back into the game just after half-time before going on to finish strongly.”

In a dour, uncompromising first half, Grammar took the iniative but, despite incessant pressure, had only a 10th minute penalty kicked by stand off Mark Ryan to show for their efforts.

But just when the small but supportive crowd were despairing of a try, up popped flanker Calum Champion to show his back division the way to the line with a positive run. Ryan missed the conversion but just before half-time the former Ellon player slotted a long-range penalty to give his side an 11-0 lead.

As is the Grammar way, they relaxed, enabling the Borders side to score a try through winger Marek Plonka, which was converted by stand off Graham Hunter.

But Grammar steped up their game, no doubt lifted by a shuddering tackle by captain and scrum half Morgan Ward on his opposite number Iain Baillie.

Grammar an in the best try of the match in 48 minutes.

Flanker Ali Mackie ran 40 yards to score near the posts, giving Ryan na easat conversion for the home side.

Better was to come just after the hour when replacement stand off Alex Hagart released Ward on the half way line to effectively end the game as a contest.

Hagart kicked the conversion to make it 25-7, although they had a golden opportunity to score a fourth try in the closing minute but, inexplicably, chose to kick for goal, passing up on a valuable try bonus point to take the score to 28-7.

“It was a relief to win today but we all know we should never have been down among the strugglers,” said Grant Walker, a campaigner of 13 seasons on the wing for Grammar.

Aberdeen Grammar: Sam Knudson; Peceli Nacamavuto, Conor Lavery, Greig Ryan, Grant Walker; Mark Ryan, Morgan Ward (c); Peter Gillies, Mike Cox, Colin Neilson; Stuart Smith, Ed Nimmons; Calum Champion, Chris Jollands, Adrian Hamilton.

Replacements: Stuart Davis, Fergus McKenzie, Ali Mackie, Lemarre El Bouchehati, Alex Hagart.

Biggar: Mark Bertram; Jonny Smart, Scott Swankie, Giles Bpland, Marek Plonka; Graham Hunter, Iain Baillie; Donald Voas, Andrew Muir, Craig Bachurzweski; Calum Taylor, Craig Simmonds; Mackenzie Pierce, Douglas Notman, Lewis McLachlan.

Replacements: Calvin Henderson, Michael Dunlop, Andrew Peacock.