Hamilton 12 Aberdeen Grammar 35
Aberdeen Grammar put behind them their run of four defeats behind them, storming to an emphatic 35 – 12 win against Hamilton, one of the National League 1 strugglers, leaving the Lanarkshire side in second from bottom, while making their own case for a top half finish, and now in seventh place.
For Grammar head coach Ali O’Connor it was a win which brought relief, and a glimpse of the potential his side had shown earlier in the campaign. ”This was a vastly improved performance after the disappointments over the last four weeks, not only did we score five quality tries, but equally encouragingly, our defending was excellent. Given that this has been a huge problem of late, it was a great relief. We can now build on this in the upcoming two games, first against bottom side Cartha Queens Park at Rubislaw, and then away to Dundee. There were a number of stand outs today, including lock Ewan Stewart who is rapidly becoming our most effective ball carrier, while it was good to have Andrew Cook back in the front row, but overall it was a sound team effort,” said O’Connor.
Grammar got their Halloween celebrations off to an early start with four first half tries, although it was the Laigh Bent side who opened the scoring through centre Ross Jamieson who raced clear of the Rubislaw side’s cover defence for a try which was converted by stand off Andy Wilson. Stung into action, Cook took the ball at speed for Grammar from a ruck before releasing centre Tom Aplin for the first of his two tries, and when full back Bryn Perrott added the extras it was game on at 7 – 7.
But it was the visitors who looked the more likely, and no surprise when they eased ahead through a Perrott penalty to which flanker Chris Jollands added a try after fine work by centre Sean Mills, opening up a gap of eight points, although Perrott missed the conversion.
Encouraged by the 15 – 7 lead, Grammar turned the screw, scoring two more tries in the 10 minutes before half – time, attributed to Aplin who scored his second after intercepting a home pass, followed by one from Mills who cashed in on stand off Sam Knudson’s charge down of a Hamilton clearance. Neither touchdowns were converted, but at 25 – 7 the game was as good as over by half – time.
Grammar added a penalty, kicked by Perrott and a try in the second half, scored by Knudson who neatly stepped inside his man to give Perrott an easy kick at goal.
But it was Hamilton who had the last word when stand off Wilson nipped over for a try he was unable to convert, although it mattered little as Grammar had done enough to win their first game since beating Kelso 46 – 33 on September. ”It’s been a long wait, but we are hopefully back in the groove,” said Greig Ryan after another fine game in the number eight jersey.