Aberdeen climbed into fourth equal place in the RBS Premiership and are among a clutch of five clubs within two points of each other and scrapping furiously for places in the British and Irish Cup.
Accies – Tries: Coupar 2. Cons: R Bonner. Pens: R Bonner.
Aberdeen – Tries: Oag, Aitken, Ryan, Fraser. Cons: Hagart, Clow (2). Pen: Clow.
Accies’ loss leaves them slightly detached in second-bottom position but it may have been different had they had had the stamina to hold out against a very physical Aberdeen side, who gradually wore them down.
The pattern of the match was established in the first five minutes when Aberdeen threatened to overwhelm the Accies defence only for Matt Coupar to intercept what should have been a scoring pass and sprint the length of the pitch for a first try.
Aberdeen fought back with an Erlend Oag try but Coupar then found a perfect angle to claim his second try. Once again Aberdeen hit back, despite losing hooker Sean O’Connor to a yellow card, with a try from full back Steven Aitken.
It was 12-12 at half-time and Aberdeen might have been dominating territory but not their opponents. Aberdeen’s replacement stand-off Graeme Clow kicked a 40-metre penalty to nudge them ahead then centre Peceli Nacamavuto did what Coupar had done in the first half, intercepting almost on his own line and going the full length, except that he was caught a metre short. There followed half a dozen scrums as Aberdeen tried to take control but the Accies defence was sound.
In the last ten minutes, Aberdeen did take control with blindside flanker Greig Ryan grabbing a third try to set up a 10-point lead. Accies then tried to grab a losing bonus point by kicking a simple penalty rather than taking on the visiting pack at scrum or lineout but Aberdeen had one more try in them from replacement prop Niki Fraser to take their own bonus point and leave Accies empty-handed.
Aberdeen coach Alex Duncan said: “We made it really hard in the first half but, in the second half, the boys were really worth their win.
“There is tremendous character in this team, they have taken a lot of hard hits this season and it is beginning to show.”
Edinburgh Accies: N Godsmark; M Coupar, I Berthinussen, R Bonner, S Pecqueur; E Bonner, A Black; D Morrison, M Liness, C Murray, G Campbell, A Findlater, D Teague, R Godsmark, C Reid. Subs: F Rawlinson, R Laughland, T Drennan, J Adams, A Blair.
Aberdeen: S Aitken; G Walker, P Nacamavuto, W Wardlaw E Oag; A Hagart, M Ward; M Dixon, S O’Connor, S Corsar, S Warnock, S Smith, G Ryan, T McGinness, C Eyre. Replacements: S Bingham, N Fraser, A Cramond, G Clow, J Lauder.
Referee: R Dickson.