1st XV Match Reports

GHA 17 Aberdeen Grammar 29

Aberdeen Grammar’s dramatically improved form continued in Glasgow on Saturday when they stunned Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians with a ferocious display at the Braidholm. 

Grammar led 26-0 at half-time and saw out the win to keep hopes of avoiding relegation well and truly alive with only two games remaining after back-to-back victories.

Stand off and captain Alex Hagart scored two tries and added three conversions and a penalty, giving him a belated 23rd birthday present.

Hagart said: “We set ourselves the target of winning our last four games and have 50% of the job done. It promises to be a great escape but we’ll be taking nothing for granted at Jedburgh next week or against Howe of Fife the following week.”

The captain’s day was made better by news fellow strugglers Kelso had replaced Grammar at the foot of National League 1 after losing 75-22 at Dundee, while Peebles lost 34-29 at Marr.

Grammar were out of the blocks with an intensity which blew away the Glasgow side, impressing new coach Ali O’Connor, who said: “Right from the start we were in their faces, playing our best rugby of the season.

“Our attitude was spot on, even our tackling was first class, which has been our downfall for most of the season.

“Ball in hand we were playing near perfect rugby. If we can carry this form into our last two games, I have no doubt we will survive.”

Ali Mackie was the standout in the early stages, comfortably adjusting to playing in the second row after spending most of the season in the back row.

His early try set the tone for the afternoon and inspired by his example centre Peceli Nacamavuto raced 70 yards to increase the Rubislaw side’s advantage.

Hagart then glided in for two tries to set up the win.

Hagart kicked three conversions but was off target with two penalties as the half closed with Grammar leading 26-0.

GHA hit back with a wave of attacks but it took until the 60th minute before breaching the visitors line. First centre Ben Addison raced over, followed by a second for Andy Henderson and, with Murray Houston adding their conversions and a penalty. it was game on at 26-17.

To their credit Grammar rallied, composing themselves sufficiently to add a Hagart penalty before running the clock down while crucially denying the home side a losing bonus point.

Grammar have set up a great opportunity of saving their season and boosting their supporters which had not looked possible two weeks ago.

© Jack Nixon