WINS for Heriot’s, Ayr, Edinburgh and Stirling as Currie crashed to a fifth successive defeat in a game that finished on a different pitch due to player injury.
Currie 19 - 32 Heriot’s
Currie crashed to their fifth successive league defeat in an injury-plagued match that had to be finished on a different pitch to allow an ambulance to pick up an injured player, writes William Paul at Malleny Park.
The home side opened the scoring with a George Horne penalty. Heriot’s countered immediately with a try by prop Stuart Mustard after a penalty attempt by scrum half Graham Wilson hit the post.
The conversion went over but two more penalties by stand off Horne put Currie ahead again, and a fourth penalty also went over after Currie hooker Isaac Miller was sent to the sin bin. Heriot’s winger Harry Boisseau went in for his team’s second try straight from the restart and Wilson’s conversion put the visitors two points ahead.
There was a long delay as flanker Malcolm Peacock was treated on the pitch before being stretchered off. Heriot’s built up some relentless pressure and prop Craig Owenson took the ball at speed to go over for the try.
With 15 minutes left Currie second row Michael Vernal went down injured and medics called in an ambulance. The game moved to the seconds pitch where hooker Kevin Bryce added the bonus-point fourth try before Currie’s consolation came from prop Joe Roe touching down. Wilson kicked two penalties just to make sure.
Aberdeen GSFP 19 - 25 Ayr
AYR surged back to form after two defeats, but were made to fight all the way by a spirited Aberdeen side who will count themselves a little unlucky to have lost, writes Jack Nixon at Rubislaw.
The defining moment came on the stroke of half-time when the visitors cashed in on home slackness to grab a lifeline through open side flanker Andrew Dunlop, who nipped over at the posts to close the gap to six points, and an easy conversion from winger Kerr Gossman.
Had Aberdeen gone into the break 16-5 there might have been a different outcome. As it was, the champions raised their game, though it needed an outrageous ricochet from a home defender to give Murray McConnell an easy touchdown, converted by replacement kicker Ross Curle.
The kick tied up the scores at 19-19 apiece in the 70th minute before two late penalties from Curle sealed the fate of Grammar.
Ayr had made the best of starts in four minutes when centre Robbie Fergusson got on the end of some slick passing, only for Grammar stand off Mark Ryan to kick the first of his four penalties, supplemented by a try from flanker Tony McGinness in 31 minutes and converted by Ryan to give him a personal tally of 14 points. In a frantic finish referee Lloyd Linton had to leave the field with a pulled leg muscle.
Edinburgh Accies 29 - 21 Melrose
Edinburgh Accies inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on Melrose in a pulsating encounter that hung in the balance until the final minute, writes Colin Renton at Raeburn Place.
A late score by Nyle Godsmark harvested a bonus point for the hosts, leaving the visitors empty handed and their coach John Dalziel bemoaning his side’s poor game management.
Melrose could scarcely have wished for a better start. With less than a minute gone, Joe Helps set the scoreboard ticking when he slotted a penalty. Accies bounced back with ten minutes of territorial domination, which ultimately failed to produce a score. However, the hosts were the more enterprising of the sides and they earned a deserved reward when Alex Allan was thwarted just short and the ball was shipped to the other flank where Greg Campbell crashed over. Ruaridh Bonner banged over the conversion.
Helps booted a second penalty to cut the deficit to a single point, but the hosts had the final word in a hugely entertaining first half when Alex Blair intercepted on half way and sprinted in, leaving Bonner to add the extra points for a 14-6 interval lead.
Helps was off target with a long-range penalty but the visitors finally found a way through the home defence with a driven line-out that ended with Alun Walker applying the final touch. Bonner restored a six-point lead entering the final quarter when he stroked over a penalty but Helps replied in kind, and Melrose snatched the lead when Austin Lockington hurtled in from long range, with the conversion by Helps nudging them four points clear.
However, the try scorer’s next contribution was an attempted chip ahead which Tom Stuart plucked out of the air before racing round behind the posts to leave Bonner a simple conversion. Then Accies bagged their fourth try and denied their opponents a narrow defeat bonus with a flowing move sparked by Jamie Farndale and finished by Godsmark.
Stirling County 23 - 20 Glasgow Hawks
County finally got their season back on track with a hard-fought win following three defeats in their opening four games, writes Martin Laing at Bridgehaugh.
It was Hawks who had looked the likelier early on, Mike Adamson scampering in for the first try, which he converted, after a quickly tapped penalty caught the Stirling defence slumbering. That came after he and Brian Archibald swapped early penalties.
County, though, rallied well and Rory Hughes sprinted over on the half-hour, Archibald on target with the boot to level, and then nudging over another penalty for a slender lead at the break.
The home side were far more spirited after the interval and stretched their advantage when A J McFarlane completed a drive over in the corner, though Archibald was this time off target.
Adamson reduced the deficit with a kick after 60 minutes but immediately afterwards a sweeping move culminated in Ben Addison touching down.
Haddon McPherson capitalised on a County error in injury time, Adamson converting.
Duncan Weir’s much anticipated return from injury was notable for its inconsistency as he struggled to after such a long absence, but he contributed enough to help Stirling to victory.