Musselburgh 35 Aberdeen Grammar 27
Two weeks into the new season and Aberdeen Grammar were given a stern reminder that life in National League 1 is not going to be easy, given their astonishing 10 try romp against Jed – Forest last weekend at Rubislaw, but followed by a 35 – 27 defeat at Musselburgh.
Head coach Ali O’Connor conceded it had been a huge disappointment after the champagne rugby of last week, but said: ”We were the architects of our own downfall, having dominated for the first 20 minutes, failing to take our opportunities, gave Musselburgh the confidence to come and have a go at us. We then ended up chasing a game we really should have won. Had we shown a little more composure it would almost certainly have led to us taking control of the game. It’s hugely disappointing, although there were positives, including a five star performance from our No 8 Chris Jollands who scored three tries.”
It was in fact, the Grammar back row of Jollands, Robin Cessford and Alex Dravitski who kept the Rubislaw side in the game, enabling them to take 15 – 12 lead into the break, thereafter they were chasing the game, shipping three tries in the second half, and generally losing the pace of the game, but still managing to score touchdowns through Jollands and centre Murray Mitchell to sit nicely with the first half efforts of Jollands(2) and Dravitiski.
Centre Tom Aplin converted one of the five Grammar tries, giving them a try bonus point, on a day when most of the positivity of last week deserted them.
The Stoneyhill side’s came from winger Martin Cimprich, replacement Craig Owenson, prop Robert Scott, scrum half Kyle McGhie(2). Stand off Danny Owenson kicked two penalties and two conversions on a day when Grammar were handed a lesson on chance taking and perhaps not to take anything for granted
A home game against Kirkcaldy gives them the opportunity to make amends for a poor performance, albeit against a good Musselburgh side.
© Jack Nixon