1st XV Match Reports

Aberdeen Grammar 28 Marr 30

Aberdeen Grammar are still in the National 1 relegation area after a dramatic last-second defeat at Rubislaw where Marr’s Colin Sturgeon scored a penalty that went in off a post.

Grammar passed up a wonderful opportunity to put one over on second-bottom Marr, throwing away a one-point lead at the death.

Grammar had trailed 24-0 early in the second half but, inspired by Ali Mackie who scored two tries in a four-try surge, they rallied to lead 28-27 – only to concede a needless penalty right at the end.

Sturgeon slotted the kick to take his points haul to 20, having scored a try and kicked two earlier penalties and three conversions. Grammar had no-one in the same class as the tidy, organised number 10.

Home coach Stuart Corsar was stunned but said: “We looked set to win the game but I have learned to take nothing for granted.

“Not for the first time this season we lost a game we should have won.

“But it’s not a disaster for us. We have taken two losing bonus points out of it and remain six points above Marr with only five games to play, including three at home, starting with Biggar.”

The game took half-an-hour to come to life and, with Marr failing to cash in as they played with a strong wind, they led only by a Sturgeon penalty and Grammar looked set to take advantage.

All that changed in the five minutes before the break as Marr ran in two tries, attributed to full back Stuart Howie and lock Angus Johnston, both expertly converted by Sturgeon to give the Ayrshire side a 17-0 half-time lead.

Despite playing into the wind after the break, Marr scored a third try when Sturgeon nipped through a sleeping home defence before adding the conversion.

Grammar finally came to their senses, piling on the pressure which led to tries from Mackie (2) and replacements Morgan Ward and Adrian Hamilton, all converted by full back Mark Ryan, who took over the kicking duties after Alex Hagart was replaced at the break.

In the middle of the Grammar try spree, Sturgeon kicked a penalty for Marr before nervelessly slotting the winner with the last kick of the game, albeit via a post.

Despite the tries, Grammar looked a woeful, disorganised outfit.

© Jack Nixon

Aberdeen Grammar: Mark Ryan; Peceli Nacamavuto, Doug Russell, Conor Lavery, Grant Walker; Alex Hagart, Sam Knudson; Peter Gillies, Stuart Davis, Colin Neilson; Stuart Smith, Aaron Robertson; Chris Jollands, Callum Champion, Ali Mackie.

Replacements: Mike Cox, Fergus McKenzie, Adrian Hamilton, Greig Ryan, Morgan Ward.

Marr: Stuart Howie; Scott Bickerstaff, Andrew Mill, Johnny McClung, Andrew Gault; Colin Sturgeon, Grant Baird; Andy Kelly, Stephen Adair (c), William Farquhar; Dylan Rowe, Angus Johnston; Kyle Vallance, Paul Burke, Ben Johnston.

Replacements: Fraser Ferguson, Phil Siave, Scott Nimmo, Fraser Grant, Rory McGee.