ABERDEEN Grammar stunned champions Ayr, handing them a second-half lesson to move out of the relegation area, leaving the Rubislaw side poised to claim a British & Irish Cup place when they meet Melrose in two weeks’ time, writes Jack Nixon at Rubislaw.
With the scores tied up at 17-17 at half-time Ayr looked to be in the driving seat, especially as they had the bonus of a strong north-easterly at their backs in the second period, only for the home side to rise to the occasion with 17 unanswered points, handing the new title holders only their second defeat of an otherwise near perfect campaign.
Captain for the day, flanker Greig Ryan, pictured, was immense, capping a splendid day with two second half tries.
A late effort from replacement Andrew Cramond put the seal on a resounding win, though it was Glasgow pro stand-off Scott Wight who had the last word, slotting a last gasp penalty.
Earlier in the game, Denford Mutamangira seemed set to grab the headlines, as he scored a remarkable first-half hat-trick of tries, one of which was converted by Ross Curle.
But it was Grammar who set the pace, opening the score through their excellent scrum half Morgan Ward, followed by a touchdown from winger Grant Walker, both converted by Wight.
“Almost everything went our way, but Ayr contributed to make it a quality game of rugby,” said Kevin Wyness, the Grammar forwards coach.
Ayr coach Kenny Murray conceded his team had been off the pace in the second half. “Aberdeen wanted the win more than us. They scored some fine tries, and played some great rugby. It was a splendid game, all the more so when you consider how bitterly cold it was. Club rugby is in a good place after a game like this. We will now turn our attention to the Scottish Cup,” he said.
The Aberdeen side now head for the Greenyards where a top four place awaits, and on this form looks to be a formality.
n Only three matches were played in the RBS Premiership yesterday after the weather forced the postponement of two games. The Edinburgh derby at Malleny Park between Currie and Heriot’s was called off, as was the game at Mayfield between Dundee HSFP and Stirling County.