Aberdeen Grammar won their first game of the 2018/19 campaign with a convincing 60-point win over National 3 side Ardrossan Academicals.
Grammar displayed their fierce attacking running and a rock-solid defence, holding hosts Ardrossan so a singular try at Sorbie Road, with several debutants and long-term injured staking their claims for future squad selection.
The men from Rubislaw started strongly with debutants Carl Nolan (MOTM) and Ciaran Wood making immediate impacts with the latter being held up over the line in the second minute. The resulting scrum allowed, scrumhalf and captain, Sam Knudson to pass wide for, club captain, Doug Russell to open the scoring on the near wing.
The next ten minutes saw Grammar score twice more with ex-Highland standoff Wood powering over for the third try of the match.
Winger Calum Ruxton was next to step up to the plate running two-thirds of the pitch to score after two minutes of madness that saw both team spill balls and put in huge hits.
Aberdeen was not without fault, being pinged several times for ruck infringements and knocking the ball on at key points.
The first half ended with Wood scoring his second try with a lovely chip through and leg drive reaching out to just dot the ball over the Ardrossan line.
The second half saw Aberdeen playing into the wind and the sun.
The first few minutes looked like the Grammar of past with the squad switching off allowing Ardrossan standoff Stuart Lewis to pick up a dropped Aberdeen pass, 5 metres out, and trot under the posts for Accies only try of the game.
The next 20 minutes saw Aberdeen defend relentlessly as Ardrossan tried to batter their way back into the game. The men from Ayrshire were camped in the Aberdeen 22 for sustained periods of time only to be let down by little handling mistakes in critical moments.
In the final quarter, the men in red found their second wind, running in 5 tires. Andrew Cook and Bryn Perrott both showcased their ability to read the game, both plucking a wayward Ardrossan pass out of the air in the final ten minutes from inside the Aberdeen 22 and running the length of the pitch to score.
Head coach Ali O’Connor, said: “The boys played well. Straight out the box, with the wind behind us, we played a good territory game forcing Accie’s errors and giving us great attacking position, which we took full advantage of.
“Our goal for this week was to be ruthless and I think we achieved that.
“We gave away a soft try in the second half, trying to be over elaborate in our own territory and became passive at the breakdown in parts after being pinged repeatedly. However, we finished strong with 5 tries in the final 20 minutes and I’m pleased with the result and the lad’s performance.”
Ardrossan - Try: Lewis Con: Lewis
Grammar – Try: Aplin (2), Cook, Ruxton (2), Russell, Perrott (2), Wood (2) Con: Aplin
Ardrossan: Fraser Gilbert, Martin Gaetano, Ruairidh Anderson, Robert Hunter, Cieran Couper, Stuart Lewis, Bruce Hunter, Ben Hamilton, Scott Campbell, Kyle McNulty, Euan Thomson, Stuart McMaster, Finlay Cairns, Jamie Thomdon, Stuart Lamont
Replacements: Logan Maxwell, Harry Macdonald, Gordon Telfer, Anthony Finnigan
Aberdeen: Bryn Perrott, Douglas Russell, Sean Mills, Tom Aplin, Calum Ruxton Ciaran Wood, Sam Knudson, Matthias Schosser, Andrew Cook, Calum Reddish, Aaron Robertson, Ewan Stewart, Robin Cessford, Carl Nolan, Alec Dravitski
Replacements: Colin Neilson, Ethan Murray, Christian Brew, Andrew Ovenstone, Lam Rongonui