1st XV Match Reports

Musselburgh 38 Aberdeen Grammar 20

Aberdeen Grammar’s wretched form continued at Musselburgh much to the dismay of club president Graham Barron, who watched his team capitulate with a dismal showing in the second half.

Relegation is looming and Barron said: “After going into the break 13-12 ahead we looked like we were going to build on our good first-half performance when full back Alex Ratcliffe scored a try which was converted by stand off Alex Hagart.

“But the lights then went out on us, as Musselburgh ran in four unanswered tries.

“I just don’t know what to make of this side which keeps shooting itself in the foot. We now have a real struggle on our hands in 2016 if we are to survive.”

Grammar were saved from further humiliation by the news both sides below them, Kelso and Peebles, had lost, keeping the Aberdeen side in 10th place with eight games to play, although the two Borders sides have only seven games remaining.

The Rubislaw side has yet to travel to meet Kelso, who are next up on January 9. When the season gets under way again, before going to Peebles a fortnight later.

“January is going to be a huge month for us, that’s for sure,” added Barron.

This match could have been so different had Grammar maintained their first-half form in which they looked composed and purposeful against a Midlothian side which had leaked 48 points on September 19 when the sides last met at Rubislaw.

Hagart was in good kicking form, easing over penalties in 12 and 116 minutes before the home side scored two tries, one of which was converted.

In the 36th minute centre Peceli Nacamavuto raced over for a try after being superbly set up by fellow centre John Poe. Hagart regained the lead for Grammar with the kick and the Aberdeen side looked in control four minutes into the second half when Ratcliffe nipped over. When Hagart added the extras it appeared Grammar were on the way to a first win since beating Peebles 51-18 on October 24.

Yet it was not to be as Musselburgh took control scoring 25 points through some woeful Grammar tackling, leaving the visitors much to contemplate in the run up to their biggest game in years at Poynder Park on January 9, now a must-win game.

© Jack Nixon

Aberdeen Grammar: Alex Hagart; Grant Walker, Peceli Nacamavuto, Johnnie Poe, Alex Ratcliffe; Ali Addy, Andrew Ovenstone; Colin Neilson, Stuart Davis, Matthias Schosser; Robin Cessford, Matthew Reid; Calum Champion, Tony McGinness, Adrian Hamilton.

Replacements: Fergus McKenzie, L Gallagher, Ali Mackie, Conor Lavery, Doug Russell.