1. Edinburgh Accies 8 Aberdeen Grammar 13

    Edinburgh Accies 8 Aberdeen Grammar 13

    Grammar shrugged off their stuttering league form to march into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup after winning through in a fiercely contested tie with Edinburgh Accies, switched to an artificial pitch at Murrayfield.

    Head coach Kevin Wyness was delighted with the win, Based on sound defending, and said: “We coped well with the faster pitch. I think we were hungrier than Accies. I thought our attitude was good, we were very aggressive, but controlled.

    “I am delighted for the players. Perhaps playing in the shadow of Murrayfield inspired the guys. I’d love to be back there for the final, but first we have to avoid relegation.”

    Grammar started well, taking an early lead in five minutes when stand off Rob Aloe kicked a penalty.

    But despite enjoying the advantage of a strong wind it took until the 33rd minute to extend their lead, when prop Matt Schosser plunged over for an unconverted try.

    Alex Black kicked a penalty late in the half for Accies making it 3-8 at the interval.

    Grammar stunned the home team 10 minutes into the second half, pushing further ahead through full back Steve Aitken who nipped over in the corner for an unconverted try.

    Two yellow cards for the visitors threatened to halt their progress to the last four, but despite losing winger Calum Gordon and number eight Tom Preece for 10 minutes, Grammar held out, conceding only a lone try to prop Duncan Morrison.

    It was, however, only stout defending which prevented the Raeburn Place side from scoring again.

    Grammar join Gala, Glasgow Hawks and Heriot’s in the last four, but will first have to meet Melrose at Rubislaw in a vital game for both sides, albeit at different ends of the Premiership.

    On this form Grammar proved they can be a match for any side, and cannot be written off in their three remaining fixtures against Melrose, Currie and Glasgow Hawks.

    © Jack Nixon

    Edinburgh Accies: Jamie Sole; Nyle Godsmark, Ewen Campbell, Iain Berthunussen (captain), Chris Dean; Ruairidh Bonner, Alex Black; Duncan Morrison, Michael Liness, Shaun Strudwick, Jamie McCarthy, Alex Toolis, Robin Snape, Hamish Watson and Callum Reid.

    Replacements: Callum Black, Clem Lacqor, Greg Campbell, Ronan Seydak, Jack Marples and Alex Glashan.

    Aberdeen: Stevie Aitken; Erlend Oag, Harry Duthie, Greig Ryan (captain), Will Wardlaw; Rob Aloe, Morgan Ward; Matt Schosser, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford, Stuart Smith, Jamie Metcalfe, Ally Mackie, Tony McGinness and Tom Preece.

    Replacements: Matt Dixon, Sean O’Connor, Matthew Emmison, Sam Knudson, Jamie Lauder and Calum Gordon.

    Referee: Peter Allan


  2. 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.



  3. Ayr 32 Aberdeen Grammar 14

    Ayr 32 Aberdeen Grammar 14

    Aberdeen Grammar’s hopes of avoiding relegation look remote after a five-try defeat at Ayr plunged the Rubislaw side to bottom place in the Premiership.

    Grammar coach Kevin Wyness was defiant about a position made worse by fellow-strugglers Stirling County winning at Glasgow Hawks and Currie drawing at Heriot’s.

    “Once again we played well enough, but were very naïve against an Ayr side who were more street wise,” said Wyness.

    “It was hard to take, but this game changes nothing. We just need to win the four remaining games against Currie, Heriot’s, Melrose and Hawks.

    “We need to work on the skill levels of individuals in the five-week break available to us before the next [league] game. Our pack dominated, not for the first time. It is just a case of cashing in.”

    Grammar displayed a lack of composure and concentration despite taking an early lead when in eight minutes No. 8 Tom Preece ripped away from the back of a maul to score a try which was converted by stand off Sam Knudson.

    It sent out a glimmer of hope to the small band of Aberdeen supporters who had made the long trip to Millbrae.

    Ayr were not fazed, displaying the all-round game which took them to the title last season, hitting back with a four-try burst before the interval.

    Two-try prop George Hunter was the home hero, earning him the man of the match award, this despite being [pushed] around all afternoon by the visiting front row.

    Peter McCallum got in on the action with a third try before centre Robbie Fergusson won the race for a kick ahead which looked to be going nowhere.

    Stand off Ross Curle poured more misery on the Aberdeen side, converting two of the touchdowns, before adding a penalty to give his side an unassailable lead of 27-7 just before the half hour.

    Grammar briefly rallied earning a penalty try converted by Knudson just before the interval.

    Had Grammar’s outfield play matched the feistiness of their pack there might have been a different outcome. As it was the game petered out in the second half, saved only by a lone try for Ayr’s lively scrum half Peter Jericevich as the former Garioch player’s sniping run left the Grammar defence for dead.

    Games against Kirkcaldy and Aberdeenshire in the Caledonia Cup before the challenge of Currie on January 25 will give Grammar’s misfiring back division the opportunity to get its game in shape, although only the most optimistic of supporters will expect to see top-flight rugby at Rubislaw next season.

    © Jack Nixon

    Aberdeen Grammar: Steve Aitken; Erlend Oag, Will Wardlaw, Harry Duthie, Calum Gordon; Sam Knudson, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Jamie Metcalfe, Andy Cramond; Greig Ryan, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.

    Replacements: Fraser Brown, Matt Schosser, Stuart Smith, Graeme Clow, Jamie Lauder

    Ayr: Grant Anderson; Richard Dalgleish, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman; Ross Curle, Murray McConnell; George Hunter, Fergus Scott, D’arcy Rae; Scott Sutherland, Callum Templeton; Graham Fisken, Andrew Dunlop, Peter McCallum.

    Replacements: James Malcolm, Nick Cox, Graham Williamson, Peter Jericevich, Craig Gossman.

    Referee: Andrew McMenemy


  4. Aberdeen Grammar 24 Dundee High Rugby 0

    Aberdeen Grammar 24 Dundee High Rugby 0

    Aberdeen Grammar took a huge stride towards securing a place in the quarter-finals of the Caledonia Cup after easing past Dundee High in atrocious conditions at Rubislaw.

    But Grammar must still avoid defeat in at least two of their three remaining fixtures in the section – against Aberdeenshire, Kirkcaldy and Howe of Fife

    Coach Kevin Wyness was delighted with the outcome, which will serve as good preparation for the club’s struggle against relegation – in particular Saturday’s game at Ayr.

    He said: “Not conceding a point was a huge plus.

    “We defended magnificently. I thought our front row of Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham and Struan Cessford were outstanding, while Sam Knudson had his best game in a Grammar jersey.”

    Grammar took time to get into their stride before coming to terms with the enterprising Taysiders, surviving early pressure before stunning them with their first attack of the game in 15 minutes.

    Knudson made space on the right, enabling Grammar’s most lethal attacked, Erlend Oag, to race in under the posts for a try which stand off Knudson converted.

    Dundee were again caught out on the half-hour when Harry Duthie, a former favourite at the Mayfield club, showed a clean pair of heels with a 30-yard dash to the line for a touchdown duly converted by the impressive Knudson.

    Playing with the elements in the second half, Grammar dictated the play, although the organised, tidy play of Colin Robertson’s side still troubled the hosts but lacked the necessary punch to breach the home line.

    Grammar effectively ended the game in 46 minutes when Oag once again outstripped the Dundee defence. Knudson kicked his third conversion before kicking a late penalty in the gathering gloom to complete a good day for the rain-lashed Rubislaw faithfull which, on this performance, will entertain hopes of surviving the drop.

    The trip to Ayr will, however, be a different kettle of fish.

    Grammar’s win ensured they retained the Dally Allardice Trophy, which is played for every time the sides meet.

    © Jack Nixon

    Aberdeen Grammar: Steve Aitken; Erlend oag, Harry Duthie, Will Wardlaw, Callum Gordon; Sam Knudson, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Jamie Metcalfe, Andy Cramond; Greig Ryan, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.

    Replacements: Michael Cox, Matt Schosser, Stuart Smith, Graeme Clow, Jamie Lauder

    Dundee High: Bryce Hosie; Matt O’Sullivan, Nick Alston, Tim McKavanagh, Mike Brown; Jason Stewrt, Andy Dymock; Stephen Longwell, Darrell Russell, Alan Brown; James Mulligan, Chris Cumming; Richie McIver, Hamish Livingston, Danny Levison.

    Replacements: Blair Cochrane, Calum Bowie, Anthony Kent, Jonny Gibson, Mike Stubbs.


  5. Falkirk 12 Aberdeen Grammar 44

    Aberdeen Grammar snapped a three-game losing streak with a comfortable victory at Championship A side Falkirk in the Caledonia Cup.

    The hosts scored the first try of the match at Cala Park but the Rubislaw side’s quality told in the end as Grammar ran in eight tries to secure the victory.

    Full-back Stevie Aitken scored four tries while Tom Preece (2), Erlend Oag and Jamie Lauder also touched down as two conversions from Sam Knudson gave the Premiership side a winning start to the cup campaign.

    Grammar coach Kevin Wyness was satisfied with his side’s display. He said: “We were very poor in the first half and it was a typical cup tie performance where we possibly thought we were better than the opposition.

    “They scored first and went 7-0 up and that was a wake-up call for us. Although our line-out was a bit scrappy, we dominated the scrum and looked dangerous. In the second half we stuck to our game-plan better. To score that number of tries in difficult conditions was very pleasing and for Stevie Aitken to score four tries from full-back was a magnificent effort. Falkirk scored the first and last tries and they deserved their scores.

    “We haven’t had the best of luck recently so it was pleasing to get a victory.”

    Wyness was particularly happy with the impact Lauder made in his comeback match for Grammar. He said: “Jamie was exceptional. He didn’t play for us last year and has been playing for Aberdeen University. I have worked pretty hard to convince him to come back as in my opinion he is the best scrum half in the area.

    “He is one of those guys that it wouldn’t matter if he was playing against Falkirk or South Africa, he gives his all and looks comfortable.”

    The Rubislaw men have been on the wrong end of some debatable refereeing calls in recent weeks but Wyness was content with how rookie whistler Mike Adamson controlled the game. He added: “Mike gave up playing for Glasgow Hawks and has been fast-tracked.

    “He ran the game well. People like Mike who have an affinity for the game are few and far between and he refereed the match with common sense.”

    Next up for Grammar is a home match in the Caledonia Cup against Dundee High Rugby on Saturday.

    Aberdeen Grammar: Steve Aitken; Erlend Oag, Harry Duthie, Peceli Nacamavuto, Calum Gordon: Sam Knudson, Luke Earle-Wright; Matt Schosser, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Andy Cramond, Jamie Metcalfe; Greig Ryan, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.

    Replacements: Rob Coates, Matt Dixon, Stuart Smith, Mark Ryan, Jamie Lauder.

  6. Edinburgh Accies 42 Aberdeen Grammar 26

    Edinburgh Accies 42 Aberdeen Grammar 26

    Aberdeen Grammar looked a sorry outfit at the end of a game they will want to forget played in difficult conditions, but made more demanding by their own frailties on a day when they leaked five tries – two of which were gifted early in the game.

    Head coach Kevin Wyness conceded his side had made a poor start. He said: “We shot ourselves in the foot, giving away two soft tries. But as far as I could see there was only one side being refereed out there. I just don’t know what we are to do to please referees. I thought we made a big step forward last week, but it’s one back this week. There again last week we had a game the officials wanted to flow. It’s not easy.”

    Grammar had taken the lead with little more than a minute played when stand off Mark Ryan kicked a straight forward penalty. But that was as good as it got in the first quarter, as a series of missed tackles and miskicks led to tries for wingers Jamie Farndale and Edinburgh pro Lee Jones.

    Both efforts were converted by home stand off Alex Blair who quickly added two penalties to give Grammar a mountain to climb after 20 minutes with Accies 20-3 up.

    Ryan, in particular, looked decidedly vulnerable in the difficult conditions, though in fairness the former Ellon layer recovered his composure sufficiently to set up winger Erlend Oag for a try right on the stroke of half-time before converting from the touchline.

    Blair and Ryan exchanged penalties just after the break to make it 23-13 before Farndale ran in his second try, converted by Blair – the most influential player on the pitch.

    Duncan Morrison grabbed the vital try bonus point with a fourth try for the home side duly converted by Blair. Ryan gave Grammar a glimmer of hope with two more penalties to take his tally to 14 points.

    A late fifth converted try from Shaun Strudwick sealed the Aberdeen side’s fate, but it was Grammar who had the last word when Tony McGinness scored a consolation try which in the absence of Ryan was kicked by replacement Sam Knudson.

    Overall a patchy performance in which Grammar lacked the necessary guile to seriously trouble the Edinburgh side which was particularly well served by their half back pairing of Blair and Mike Campbell

    More worryingly the Aberdeen side lacked leaders up front. Although there were fine individual efforts from number eight Tom Preece and Andy Cramond, who was a tower of strength in the second row, while Oag was a constant threat on wing.

    Grammar now take a week out of league action and will meet Kirkcaldy in the RBS Caledonia Cup at Rubislaw on Saturday, giving them an opportunity to get their house in order for their three Premiership games before the Christmas break.

    © Jack Nixon

    Edinburgh Accies: Nyle Godsmark; Lee Jones, Ewen Campbell, Iain Berthinussen, Jamie Farndale; Alex Blair, Mike Campbell; Alex Allan, Michael Liness, Phil Cringle, Jamie McCarthy, Alex Toolis, Greg Campbell (captain), Hamish Watson, Callum Reid.

    Replacements: Duncan Morrison, Shaun Strudwick, Scott Riddell, Ruairidh Bonner, Chris Dean.

    Aberdeen Grammar: Stevie Aitken; Erlend Oag, Will Wardlaw, Harry Duthie (captain) Peceli Nacamavuto; Mark Ryan, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sean O’Connor, Struan Cessford, Andy Cramond, Jamie Metcalfe, Sam Bingham, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.

    Replacements: Matt Schosser, Sandy Warnock, Rob Cessford, Calum Gordon, Sam Knudson.

    Referee: Charles Samson


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