Gala 33 Aberdeen Grammar 21
Aberdeen Grammar allowed a fine opening 40 minutes, where they led 16-12, to slide as they disappeared as an attacking force in the second half – losing four tries in the process - while relying on a late try to give the scoreline more respectability.
After losing 18-17 to Edinburgh Accies last weekend Grammar were looking for a win on the road but coach Kevin Wyness was frustrated by the display and said: “This is the second time in as many weeks we have failed to show in the second half.
“It’s most frustrating, especially as we played so well in the first. It is an issue we will need to address. But there were lots of positives, including the first class performance of Graeme Clow at stand off. He was superb, scoring all our first half points. Flanker Tony McGinness and centre Will Wardlaw were also impressive."
Both sides arrived at the game eager for wins to compensate for defeats after poor second-half performances last week.
Gala were beaten 28-27 by Heriot’s last Saturday and Grammar dominated the early play only to fall behind to a try from former Harlequins player Opeta Palepoi.
The Aberdeen side rallied with three quick penalties from Clow who then neatly side-stepped the Gala defence for a try which he converted to make it 16-5 for the visitors.
Grammar then conceded a soft converted try just before the break when Alan Edmund caught the visiting defence napping, and despite the introduction of Glasgow Warriors player Josh Strauss in the second half they proceeded to lose control of the game.
Strauss failed to make his presence felt in the Grammar back row, enabling home number eight Tom Weir to rumble over for a converted try.
Worse was to come when Clow was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on when attempting to intercept a try scoring pass.
In his absence the Borderers made their numerical advantage count when winger Graham Spiers romped in with the extras added.
Scrum half George Graham sealed Grammar’s fate with a converted try 15 minutes from time.
The irrepressible McGinness had the last word when his hard work was rewarded with an enterprising but unconverted touchdown. However, by then the game was up leaving Wyness to solve the problem of getting his charges to play not only as a unit but also for the full 80 minutes.
Centre Harry Duthie picked up a bad shoulder knock and may miss the home game against Stirling County on Saturday.
“Harry might have a broken shoulder,” said Wyness who will have the bonus of three consecutive home games before the end of the month.