Aberdeen Grammar and Marr served up an entertaining game of rugby on the most perfect of afternoons for running rugby, but leaving the Rubislaw faithful asking just how often are their favourites are going to shed points in their quest to reach the heights in National League 1.
On one hand the statistics look good for Grammar, having scored 246 points at an average of 41 per game, while picking up maximum try bonus points in the process. On the other they have conceded 177 points at an average of nearly 30 per game, while losing three of their six games to date, albeit narrowly
So instead of being at the head of the division after nearly a third of fixtures played to date, this generally excellent Grammar side find themselves in sixth place going into the winter months, and some tough tests on the road to come.
Full back and two try scorer Bryn Perrott tried to get a handle on what was going on and said: ''We were fine in the first half, and at 23 - 19 to the good, we looked set to win, but in the second half we lost the pace and started falling off tackles. But it was a great game in which to play. Marr are a very good side, but generally we matched them scoring six tries to seven, although we missed a number of kicks at goal, whereas they only missed one conversion.''
The kicking failures can be sorted out as can the improvement of tackling technique, but there are clearly issues which need to be resolved. In the meantime, they continue to entertain, even if their defending leaves a lot to be desired.
The game itself was a cracker, leaving even spectators breathless at the speed of which things were happening on the field, which might just have accounted for referee Fergus Hollins having a shocker, including one decision at a vital moment in the second half when with Grammar leading 30 - 26 he first awarded a try to Marr near the Grammar posts, only to change his mind, and run 40 yards to consult a touch judge, this despite the fact that the whistler had been only two yards away from the play.
Awarding the try did not win the game for the visitors who by that time were well in the ascendency, but it was out of place in an otherwise great game of rugby.
Marr were in fact worthy winners, having scored four converted tries in the second half to the two scored and converted by the home side. The Ayrshire side were full of guile, powerful runners and best served by stand off Conor Bickerstaff, their two try No 8 Ross Miller and kicker and full back Liam McLoughlin.
Grammar's stand outs were Perrott, stand off and captain Sam Knudson, props Callum Reddish and Jordan Robertson, hooker Andrew Cook, and lock Ewan Stewart.
The try scorers for the Rubislaw side were Perrott(2), wingers Doug Russell and Sean Mills, Calum Reddish, and Cook. Perrott and centre Tom Aplin added a conversion each, while Perrott slotted an early penalty in a game to remember at a thrill and and a point a minute.
But according to forwards coach Iain Stanger it was ''one that got away. We matched them in every department, except place kicking. It's most frustrating.''
© Jack Nixon
Aberdeen Grammar: Bryn Perrott; Douglas Russell, Murray Mitchell, Sean Mills; Sam Knudson, Tommy Morrison; Calum Reddish, Andrew Cook, Jordan Robertson; Aaron Robertson, Ewan Stewart; Alec Dravitski, Will Alton, Greig Ryan.
Replacements: Liam Buchan, Cameron Robertson, Ethan Murray, Ciaran Wood, Calum Ruxton.
Marr: Liam McLoughlin; Jack Scott, Richard Dalgleish, Gregor Paxton, Tom Steven; Conor Bickerstaff, Finlay hazel; William Farquhar, Oliver Rossi, Calvin Henderson; Ewan Hamilton-Bulger, Daniel Law; Ben Johnston, Mackenzie Pearce, William Miller.
Replacements: Fraser Miller, Graeme Dick, Alexander Grant, Andrew Mill, Alistair Walker.