14 September 2013
Aberdeen Grammar 18 Stirling County 11
Aberdeen Grammar shrugged side the absence of five first-team players to see off the limited challenge of Stirling County and give head coach Kevin Wyness his first win at home since taking charge at Rubislaw.
Despite missing the services of winger Erlend Oag, centres Graeme Clow and Peceli Nacamavuto, stand-off Rob Aloe and hooker Sean O’Connor, Grammar rose to the challenge.
“I am delighted for the players, especially those who stepped up to the mark this week. We also got the second-half demons off our back, turning in a good performance to clinch the game-although I thought we were equally impressive in the first half when playing into the wind,” said Wyness.
The first half was in fact a featureless one, marked only by a penalty apiece for home stand-off Mark Ryan, matched by County’s centre Brian Archibald.
The main talking point was Grammar having the three Ryan brothers in their starting line up, a first for the club although centre Sam, stand-off Mark and captain Greig have al appeared for Ellon before.
The situation was made all the more special as Wyness is also the uncle of the trio of brothers.
“We celebrated in the best possible way by winning,” said Greigwho, like his brother Sam, was sin-binned in the second half in an otherwise good day for the home side.
Grammar started the second half with a bang when the speed and guile of winger Calum Gordon proved too much for the Bridgehaugh side. Mark Ryan missed the conversion.
County hit back in less than a minute when stand-off Stuart Edwards dropped a goal to make it 8-6 with less than minutes on the second half clock.
Grammar then enjoyed their best spell of the game, inspired by an all-action back rowin which number eight Tom Preece was an outstanding ball carrier, but ably supported by the irrepressible Tony McGinness and Glasgow professional Fraser Brown.
Ryan kicked another penalty and then lock Ed Nimmons took charge in the second row, especially when in 65 minutes he popped up for his first try for the club thanks to fine support work from the eager Sam Bingham.
Ryan kicked the conversion to give the home side an apparently unassailable lead at 18-6. Although a late, unconverted try from Craig Deacons made for an anxious last five minutes for the Rubislaw faithful.
© Jack Nixon
Reproduced with the permission of the Press & Journal