1st XV Match Reports

Selkirk 32 Aberdeen Grammar 12

Aberdeen Grammar fell short of the expectations of coach Stuart Corsar, slumping to a defeat at the hands of BT National League 1 leaders Selkirk.

Grammar had the consolation of scoring two tries without ever looking likely to win the game and a frustrated Corsar said: “To date we have given several players the opportunity to stand up and claim a place in the side but too few have proved worthy of the chance.

“It was hugely disappointing, even if we occasionally showed some nice touches. From now on we must build a winning formula with players who have stepped up to the mark.

“No more messing around.”

Among those who stepped up to the mark was captain and scrum half Morgan Ward, who was a standout, featuring in both the tries scored by Grammar but, just as crucially, Ward was a key figure in the busy visiting defence.

Grammar started confidently, throwing the ball around but never threatening the Philiphaugh side’s try line. They found themselves seven points down after eight minutes when replacement flanker Ross Nixon was given too much space by a casual Aberdeen defence.

Selkirk full back Rory Banks added the conversion before going to make it 10-0 in 23 minutes when he kicked an easy penalty. Grammar were stung into action, stringing passes together in 27 minutes when Ward set up winger Grant Walker for a try in the corner in their first serious foray into the home 22.

Despite some concentrated pressure from the Rubislaw side, it was Selkirk who eased further ahead when the hooker James Bett romped over the line for a poorly defended try, converted by Banks, who added a penalty two minutes later to make it 20-5 at half-time.

A try immediately after the break by centre Craig McDougal took the game away from Grammar, especially as Banks added the conversion.

On 68 minutes replacement flanker Rory Wilson grabbed a fourth try, making it 32-5 as Banks missed the conversion.

To their credit, Grammar finished strongly, getting their reward in 75 minutes when lock Stuart Smith touched down after a number of good phases to give the score some respectability, taking the tally into double figures. Grammar stand off Alex Hagart had the last word with the conversion to make the final score 32-12 but it was a day when too few Grammar players shone.

© Jack Nixon

Selkirk: Rory Banks; Callum McEwan, Lewis MacLennan, Craig MacDougall, Darren Claperton; Callum McColm, Mikey Davies; Kieran Cooney, James Bett, Cata Graur; Jordan McGowan, John Everitt; Ewan MacDougall, Angus Ducket, Callum Marshall.

Replacements: Ross Nixon, Ruairi Wilson, Matt Kissick, Gordon Patterson.

Aberdeen Grammar: Alex Ratcliffe; Grant Walker, Jamie Gilmour, Sam Knudson, Lemarre El Bouchehati; Alex Hagart, Morgan Ward; Carter, Fergus McKenzie, Colin Neilson; Aaron Robertson, Stuart Smith; Calum Champion, Chris Jollands, Louis Kinsey.

Replacements: Lumsden, Cox, Grieg Ryan, Doug Russell, Peceli Nacamavuto.