Dundee High 26 Aberdeen Grammar 27
The smiles from the Aberdeen players, officials and supporters as they mingled on the Mayfield pitch after Grammar’s first away league win of the season spoke volumes about their relief at moving into the relative safety of mid-table.
Grammar deserved the narrow 27-26 win which enabled them to retain the Dallas Allardice Trophy.
Grammar proved to be more adept at taking chances than the more fragmented Dundee High who, while enjoying the lion’s share of the play, lacked a killer punch in the back division.
Grammar coach Stuart Corsar said: “There were so many positives. We really came good, scoring four quality tries, defending well and being able to fend off a comeback from Dundee were just three of them. Retaining the trophy is the icing on the cake.”
Grammar captain and scrum half Morgan Ward was no less enthusiastic about the fact that Grammar moved above their rivals in the league after the win and said: “We closed them out when they came back at us. Our front five were tremendous but we must now build on this win.”
Despite conceding a penalty after three minutes, Grammar hit back immediately with one of their own when stand off Alex Hagart cancelled out Harry Miller’s effort.
For the second time in a week centre Peceli Nacamavuto opened Grammar try count, racing on to an up and under from full back Sam Knudson to outstrip the home defence. Hagart converted.
Ward scored the second try of the afternoon as Grammar raced into a 17-3 lead after only 15 minutes, with Hagart again making the conversion.
But Grammar found their hosts were in no mood to surrender, especially as stand off Miller was in fine kicking form. His conversion of a try scored by flanker George Arnott kept his side in the game, as did the last kick of the half, a penalty to take Dundee to 13 points.
Grammar had earlier put 22 points on the board when flanker Calum Champion had touched down for an unconverted try.
The second half belonged to the hosts but Grammar flanker Ali Mackie looked to have made the game safe at 27-13 when he crashed over in 60 minutes. Hagart missed the conversion attempt and also a straightforward penalty after the home side had added two unconverted tries – from centres Matt O’Sullivan and Tom McKavanagh – to make it 27-23. Miller kicked a penalty to take the score to 27-26 but Grammar held on for the narrow win.
Grammar’s next league game is on November 29 when they meet Watsonians at Rubislaw, but firstly they have a tricky test at Hamilton in the Scottish Cup on Saturday