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Cartha Queens Park 19 Aberdeen Rugby 26

Published - 23 March 2019

Aberdeen Grammar kept their top six aspirations in National League 1 alive in Glasgow where in a less than convincing performance in an untidy sometimes chaotic game, the Rubislaw side toughed it out to land maximum points for their four try haul, and now look bound to be safely ensconced in the top half of the league with only one game left.

Head coach, Ali O’Connor was delighted with the five points, but said: ”This was not one of our better performances, but we came through and can now look forward to a break during in which we will be aiming to get to the final of the National League Cup when we play Kelso in the semi-final in the Borders before we play Dundee High in our last league game of the season. We had one or two key players missing, but I thought Ben Inglis had a good game in his first start in the back row, while Centre Tom Aplin had a good day with the boot, kicking three conversions to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

We are pretty near our target of getting into the top six, while still chasing some silverware. It’s been a generally good season, but with three possible games to play it’s by no means over.”

Grammar had the best of the first half, leading 14-7, although in their anxiety to avoid relegation, Cartha squandered a number of opportunities in the mayhem of the 40 minutes. Grammar’s points came from regular scorer No 8 Greig Ryan and hooker Andrew Cook, both converted by Aplin. The Drumbreck side’s lone effort being scant reward for their efforts.

Grammar showed displayed better organisation in the second period, cutting down on the error count, but not totally able to shake off the challenge of the stubborn Glasgow side, who managed a further 12 points to equal the second half tally of the visitors.

The Grammar tries came from Flanker Chris Jollands and new boy Inglis, one of which was converted by Aplin, giving the Aberdeen side a narrow 26-19 win to the relief of club captain and winger Doug Russell who said: ”We knew it was going to be tough, but we managed to grind out a win. We beat them up front where we have been strong all season. It’s was great preparation for next week’s cup tie.”

© Jack Nixon

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