Ayr 32 Aberdeen Grammar 14
Aberdeen Grammar’s hopes of avoiding relegation look remote after a five-try defeat at Ayr plunged the Rubislaw side to bottom place in the Premiership.
Grammar coach Kevin Wyness was defiant about a position made worse by fellow-strugglers Stirling County winning at Glasgow Hawks and Currie drawing at Heriot’s.
“Once again we played well enough, but were very naïve against an Ayr side who were more street wise,” said Wyness.
“It was hard to take, but this game changes nothing. We just need to win the four remaining games against Currie, Heriot’s, Melrose and Hawks.
“We need to work on the skill levels of individuals in the five-week break available to us before the next [league] game. Our pack dominated, not for the first time. It is just a case of cashing in.”
Grammar displayed a lack of composure and concentration despite taking an early lead when in eight minutes No. 8 Tom Preece ripped away from the back of a maul to score a try which was converted by stand off Sam Knudson.
It sent out a glimmer of hope to the small band of Aberdeen supporters who had made the long trip to Millbrae.
Ayr were not fazed, displaying the all-round game which took them to the title last season, hitting back with a four-try burst before the interval.
Two-try prop George Hunter was the home hero, earning him the man of the match award, this despite being [pushed] around all afternoon by the visiting front row.
Peter McCallum got in on the action with a third try before centre Robbie Fergusson won the race for a kick ahead which looked to be going nowhere.
Stand off Ross Curle poured more misery on the Aberdeen side, converting two of the touchdowns, before adding a penalty to give his side an unassailable lead of 27-7 just before the half hour.
Grammar briefly rallied earning a penalty try converted by Knudson just before the interval.
Had Grammar’s outfield play matched the feistiness of their pack there might have been a different outcome. As it was the game petered out in the second half, saved only by a lone try for Ayr’s lively scrum half Peter Jericevich as the former Garioch player’s sniping run left the Grammar defence for dead.
Games against Kirkcaldy and Aberdeenshire in the Caledonia Cup before the challenge of Currie on January 25 will give Grammar’s misfiring back division the opportunity to get its game in shape, although only the most optimistic of supporters will expect to see top-flight rugby at Rubislaw next season.
© Jack Nixon
Aberdeen Grammar: Steve Aitken; Erlend Oag, Will Wardlaw, Harry Duthie, Calum Gordon; Sam Knudson, Morgan Ward; Matt Dixon, Sam Bingham, Struan Cessford; Jamie Metcalfe, Andy Cramond; Greig Ryan, Tony McGinness, Tom Preece.
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Matt Schosser, Stuart Smith, Graeme Clow, Jamie Lauder
Ayr: Grant Anderson; Richard Dalgleish, Robbie Fergusson, Dean Kelbrick, Kerr Gossman; Ross Curle, Murray McConnell; George Hunter, Fergus Scott, D’arcy Rae; Scott Sutherland, Callum Templeton; Graham Fisken, Andrew Dunlop, Peter McCallum.
Replacements: James Malcolm, Nick Cox, Graham Williamson, Peter Jericevich, Craig Gossman.
Referee: Andrew McMenemy