Aberdeen Grammar’s prospects of a top-four finish look bright after a scintillating win in Borders heartland where they were too good for Gala.
Despite their fourth place in National 3, the Netherdale men did not look in the same class as the team from the Granite City, who ran in five tries.
Grammar coach Ali O’Connor said:”There are very few sides, including ourselves, who come to Netherdale and get such a fine win, especially after falling 10 points in arrears in as many minutes.
“We had heroes all over the pitch, not least in the front row where Ross Anderson, Matthias Schosser and Rob Ellinson had great games, while winger Matt Arnold had a superb game, electrifying the match with his incisive running.
Centres Nat Clough and captain Alex Ratcliffe worked in perfect harmony, but most of all it was a performance based on teamwork and good communication.” Despite falling behind to an early converted try and a penalty, Grammar rallied through touchdowns from Schosser and an interception try scored by Arnold and converted by stand off Bryn Perrott to lead 12-10 after 25 minutes.
The see-sawing continued in a rumbustious first half with the lead changing hands no less than five times and leaving Gala 20-18 to the good at the break. Grammar kept in touch with a try from the all-action Robin Cessford, duly converted by the first class kicking of Perrott.
Perrott ended the afternoon with four out of five conversions and a penalty to make him his side’s highest-scoring player.
Grammar upped their game in the second half, generally outplaying the Borders side.
The Aberdeen outfit added tries through Perrott and what proved to be the winner from Ratcliffe after great work from fellow centre Clough.
At 36-27 it looked over for Gala but they hit back and grabbed a fourth try and with it a losing bonus point.
Grammar enjoyed the spoils of a maximum points haul of five.
Captain Ratcliffe said: “We adjusted at key moments in the game.
“Our communication was good throughout. A top-four place is now on the cards.
“We now need to replicate this form when we come down again to play Jedburgh.”