1st XV Match Reports

Melrose 42 Aberdeen Grammar 16

Melrose 42 Aberdeen Grammar 16

Aberdeen Grammar head coach Kevin Wyness was at a loss to understand his side’s inability to close out a game after it had led Premiership leaders 16-12 early in the second half before crashing to a seven-try defeat at the Greenyards.

Grammar are ninth in the 10-team Premiership and Wyness said: “We had done enough to win, although we failed to be clinical when we were in their 22.

“I can’t quite put my finger on what needs to be done. I just know it’s my responsibility to sort it out, especially as we have two home games coming up. Glasgow Hawks and Hawick are both teams we would expect to beat.”

Wyness also conceded having two players yellow-carded did not help. He added: “All I can say is that lock Jamie Metcalfe and tighthead prop Struan Cessford were not given 10 minutes in the sin bin for dirty play.”

Wyness was unhappy kicker and stand off Graeme Clow was concussed. He had kept the Rubislaw side in the game with three first-half penalties and then the conversion of a Cessford try.

Grammar had brought in reinforcements, drafting in Gordon Reid of Glasgow Warriors, and looked the more dangerous side, leading to Clow kicking the first of his penalties before Melrose responded with tries from Gary Holborn and Damien Hoyland, one of which was converted by centre Joe Helps.

Despite being 12-3 down, Grammar stayed in touch with two penalties and after the break they seemed to find another gear when Cessford plunged over from close range to give his side the lead at 16-12, but this was to be short-lived.

Despite Grant Runciman being yellow-carded, the home side scored a third try through replacement Nick Beavon. When Metclfe was sent to the bin it was the beginning of the end for the Aberdeen side which conceded tries to Peter Eccles and Hoyland, fortunately for Grammar both conversions were missed although the home side did score a penalty.

The game was reduced to uncontested scrums when Cessford was sin-binned and Melrose continued to press, leading to tries from Helps and former Grammar winger Callum Anderson, one of which was converted, making for a miserable day for the visitors.

© Jack Nixon

Melrose: Austin Lockington; Damien Hoyland, Andrew Skeen, Joe Helps, Callum Anderson; Richard Mill, Bruce Colvine; Nicky Little, Todd Pearce, Gary Holborn, Graeme Dodds, Ross Ovens, Peter Eccles, Grant Runciman, Andrew Nagle.

Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Nick Beavon, Stuart Johnstone, David Crawford, and Tom Wilson.

Aberdeen Grammar: Will Wardlaw; Erland Oag, Peceli Nacamavuto, Harry Duthie (captain), Angus Rennie; Graeme Clow, Luke Earle-Wright; Gordon Reid, Sean O’Connor, Struan Cessford, Callum Harvey, Jamie Metcalfe, Sam Bingham, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.

Replacements: Robin Cessford, Matt Schosser, Matt McCall, Mark Ryan, Sam Ryan.

Referee: Charles Samson