Kelso 10 Aberdeen Grammar 13
Aberdeen Grammar took a significant step towards easing relegation fears with a National 1 win at Kelso.
Grammar shrugged off a bus breakdown, which resulted in the kick-off being delayed 15 minutes, and clinched victory after overturning a 7-6 half-time deficit.
Grammar coach Stuart Corsar said: “we showed real character, given the circumstances, and some difficult, cold conditions.
“Our first half performance was good and we might have gone into the break in front but we got stuck in and got our reward. It’s good to get our first double of the season. There were some outstanding performances, including from locks Ed Nimmons and Stuart Smith, who led from the front in his first game as captain.”
Grammar cashed in on home indiscipline, enabling stand off Alex Hagart to kick penalties in the fifth and 11th minutes to make it 6-0. The Rubislaw men continued to dominate and breaks from scrum half Sam Knudson and centre Conor Lavery might well have led to tries.
Knudson was particularly sharp, having taken over in the absence of captain Morgan Ward, but it was his half-back partner Alex Hagart who marshalled his back line with the maturity of a veteran.
Against the run of play, Kelso winger Gregg Minto raced over for a try. Stand off Andy Skeen kicked the conversion to make it 7-6 at the interval.
Grammar shrugged off the disappointment of falling in arrears, taking the game to the Poynder Park side in the second half. They took advantage of a Kelso forward being yellow-carded for foul play. From a scrum in front of the home posts Ali Mackie charged over the line to give Grammar the lead and, with Hagart adding the conversion, the visitors were back in the driving seat at 13-7.
Grammar had to withstand late pressure from the Borders men, who only had a late penalty from Skeen to show for their efforts.
The Rubislaw men are now eight points clear of the relegation area.
Kelso: Murray Hastie; Greg Ponton , Richard Minto, Frankie Robson, Gregg Minto; Andrew Skeen, Andy Tait; Chris Keen, Ross Henderson, Gary Holborn; Stef Carnegie, Callum Rowlandson; Max Gordon, Liam Tait, Ali Grieve.
Replacements: Chris Riddell, Stuart Lowrie, Gareth Riddell, Tom Robson, Craig Russell
Aberdeen Grammar: Mark Ryan; Alex Ratcliffe, Peceli Nacamavuto, Conor Lavery, Grant Walker; Alex Hagart, Sam Knudson; Peter Gillies, Rob Coates, Colin Neilson; Stuart Smith, Ed Nimmons; Chris Jollands, Ali Mackie, Calum Champion.
Replacements: Stuart Davis, Matthias Schosser, Adrian Hamilton, Fergus McKenzie, Douglas Russell.