Aberdeen Grammar 27 Kelso 22
Aberdeen Grammar made a convincing effort to free themselves from the threat of relegation after stifling a Kelso comeback and earning a national League 1 try bonus win, courtesy of a late touchdown from veteran back Grant Walker.
The long-time Rubislaw favourite demonstrated to his younger, less-experienced team-mates calmness is the key, cashing in on the fine work of captain and scrum-half Morgan Ward and centre Doug Russell, all made possible by an outrageous flicked final pass from another Rubislaw veteran Peceli Nacamavuto.
Walker said: “It was just great to score the winner and I think we wanted the win more. We played with a passion that gave us the edge.”
Former Wanderers player Walker had been moved from his favoured position on the wing to play at full back.
Coach Stuart Corsar was equally delighted with the win, especially after his side had been pegged back after turning around at half-time 20-8 to the good.
Corsar said: “Once Kelso got back on level terms, and playing down wind, we were under the cosh but came back. They ran out of steam and going into the last quarter I knew we’d win.”
Playing with a strong wind in the first half, Grammar piled on the pressure, getting their reward with three tries, two of which came from their strong running, skilled ball carrying number eight Louis Kinsey, who gave the visitors a lesson in finishing.
Centre Doug Russell added to the total with a neat effort of his own and, with stand off Alex Hagart kicking two conversions and a penalty, the home side looked well in charge at 22-8 at the break.
The Kelso scores came from a try from lock Donald Seed, converted by stand off Andrew Skeen, who also kicked a penalty.
Kelso started the second half full of fire, gaining a 42nd minute reward through a poorly defended Ian Wallace try, converted by Skeen. The Kelso flanker was being given the freedom of the park, followed by equally slack defending, enabling winger Frankie Robson to stroll in five minutes later. Skeen added the conversion to tie the scores, only for Kelso hopes of a win to be dashed by the cool head of Walker in the 70th minute.
Captain Ward said: “We worked well together. Thi is an improving young side who will get better as the season goes on.”
© Jack Nixon
Aberdeen Grammar: Grant Walker; Lemarre El Bouchehati, Jamie Gilmour, Doug Russell, Peceli Nacamavuto; Alex Hagart, Morgan Ward; Peter Gillies, Matthias Schosser, Colin Neilson; Callum Harvey, Aaron Robertson; Stuart Smith, Chris Jollands, Louis Kinsey.
Replacements: Stuart Davis, Ross Lumsden, Calum Champion, Sam Knudson, Andrew Ovenstone.
Kelso: Ally Johnston; Frankie Robson, Richard Minto, Adam Alexander, Tony Wichary; Andrew Skeen, Murray Hastie; Chis Keen, Chris Riddell, James Cowan; Max Gordon, Donald Seed; Ali Grieve, Ian Wallace, Gareth Riddell.
Replacements: Fraser Howie, Paul Grahamslaw, Scott Brown, Anders Cameron, Kieran Wilkinson.