Aberdeen Grammar stretched their unbeaten run to seven games, following an impressive 30-17 win over Selkirk and reduced the gap on the fifth-placed Border side to one point in the process.
The Rubislaw men remain in the hunt for a place in the top four or even third place in National League 1.
Head coach Ali O’Connor was thrilled with his side’s display, which was in stark contrast to the time the two sides met earlier this season when Grammar lost out to a last gasp, touchline conversion at Philip-haugh.
He said: “The players were well aware of the enormity of the occasion.
“The win took away all the pain of that day, away back in September. A lot has happened since then, not least our continuing good run of form, based on this occasion on quality defending in the first half.”
Grammar had to shrug off losing lock Robin Cessford with a pulled hamstring in the warm-up with his place going to Aaron Robertson who had a first class game.
The home pack were instrumental in winning the game, taking the game to the Borderers from the off, tackling like demons, and scoring all four of the home touchdowns.
The front row of Ross Anderson, Calum Reddish and Matt Schosser were particularly effective, as were the try scoring back row of No 8 Greig Ryan (2) and Chris Jollands and Alex Dravitski who each grabbed a score.
But while the Grammar back division saw less of the action, they played their part in defending.
Once they stopped kicking away hard won possession, they also became a force in their own right, particularly stand off and captain Sam Knudson who led his line with authority. His many breaks helped set up numerous attacks in the second half.
Lock Ewan Stewart continues to be a ball carrier of the highest order.
Both sides took time to get into the game with the early scores coming from penalties exchanged by Tom Aplin for a Grammar and Rory Banks for Selkirk before Aplin gave the Rubislaw side a lead they were never to lose, on the half hour mark with his second kick. Despite incessant pressure from the home side it took until the stroke of half- time to score a try when Ryan nipped over the line. Aplin added the conversion to make it 13-3 at the break.
A tense second half looked in prospect for the Rubislaw faithful, only for Grammar to raise their game with two stunning tries in three minutes.
Dravitski and Jollands were the scorers and with Aplin adding one conversion, it was game over, especially when Ryan popped up on the wing to grab his second try and with it a valuable try bonus point.
Grammar not surprisingly tired, giving Selkirk the opportunity to snatch two late tries, attributed to Gregor Nicol and Ewan MacDougall, both converted by Banks, although on this occasion, there was no late pain for Grammar.
Club captain Doug Russell said: “We have been working on our defence and it paid off. The late tries only came when we tired.”