Aberdeen Grammar 15 Gala 34
Aberdeen Grammar have a mountain to climb in their attempt to stay in the top flight after handing Gala, the new leaders of the Premiership, a 21-point lead only 20 minutes into the game.
A despairing Kevin Wyness, the Grammar coach, said: “We surrendered three needless tries, handing them an advantage that effectively ended the game.
“We handled poorly, kicked down their throats, and missed simple tackles not to mention dropping passes. And yet we got ourselves back into the game, and with a bit of luck might have won, but we’re not getting any breaks.”
The worst break of the afternoon for the home side came just before the hour mark when after rallying back to 15-21 a neck injury to replacement Gala hooker Russell Anderson interrupted play for nearly 15 minutes.
“The break in play stopped our momentum, giving Gala time to regroup
“We never got back into the game. It was most unfortunate,” said Wyness.
The injury to Anderson turned out not to be as serious as first thought, and he was able to join his tam-mates at the end of the game.
“The proper precautions were taken. You just can’t be too careful with a neck injury, “ said a spokesman for the Netherdale club.
When play resumed Gala dropped a goal through Gregor Mein before going on to score a late fourth try by Lowrie and a conversion from Ewan Scott to claim a winning bonus point.
A second drop goal from replacement stand off Gregor Mein merely served to rub salt in the gaping home wounds.. most of which were self-inflicted in the opening quarter when Chris Auld, Scott and former Samoa international Opeta Palepoi ran in simple tries, all of which were converted by Scott.
On the stroke of half-time Grammar’s stand off Sam Knudson nipped in for a try under the posts to put points on the board with the same player adding the conversion.
A further touchdown from winger Erlend Oag five minutes into the second half was not converted, though Knudson did add a penalty to make it 15-21.
Fate then intervened, though Grammar had made a more than significant contribution to their downfall.
“The difference between the sides was obvious,
“We don’t know how to win, but there were some good performances, including one from flanker Sandy Warnock, playing in his last game before going to the United States, but there were others.
“We scrummaged them off the park, and full back Steven Aitken was a class act, “ added Wyness.
© Jack Nixon
Aberdeen Grammar: Steve Aitken; Grant Walker, Peceli Nacamavuto, Harry Duthie (captain), Erlend Oag; Sam Knudson, Luke Earle-Wright; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Andy Cramond, Jamie Metcalfe; Sandy Warnock, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Matt Schosser, Dtuart Smith, Will Wardlaw, Morgan Ward.
Gala: Andy McLean; Graham Speirs, Chris Auld, Ewan Scott, Gerald Sibanda; David O’Hagan, George Graham (captain); Rory Sutherland, Callum Mackintosh, Ewan Johnston; Carig Borthwick, Opeta Palepoi; Gary Graham, Stephen Cairns, Tom Weir.
Replacements: Russell Anderson, G Lowrie, R Tod, Gregor Mein.