1st XV Match Reports

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