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Gordonians retain hopes of survival despite defeat at Stewart’s Melville

Angus Winning impressed for Gordonians
Angus Winning impressed for Gordonians

Gordonians remain firmly in one of the relegation slots in National League 2 after losing 33-10 to promotion seeking Stewart’s Melville in Edinburgh.

But the Aberdeen side demonstrated sufficient fight and quality to suggest they can yet avoid the drop in the their four remaining games.

Coach Alan McLean who masterminded the 2nd Gordonians team to the Caley 3 North title this season certainly thinks so.

He said: “I believe we gave a good account of ourselves against a very good Stewart’s Melville side, and can win all our four games to make us safe.

“We didn’t take our chances, whereas they did.

“It’s possible for us to stay up with only three or even two wins but we now need to focus on winning every game, starting at Countesswells at home to Preston Lodge next Saturday.

“We had a number of key players missing today who will hopefully be back next week.”

Promotion chasers impressive against their Aberdeen opponents

On a perfect spring day on the pitch graced by Scotland in the early part of the 20th century both sides rose to the occasion, endeavouring to play open, expansive rugby.

Given the attendant pressures of promotion and relegation  this was to their eternal credit, resulting in the Inverleith side scoring five tries and their Aberdeen opponents two, although the latter left one or two out on the pitch due to some poor finishing.

It was, however, the Edinburgh side side who were the more enterprising, scoring three good team tries to take a 19-0 lead near the end of the first half.

At this point it looked like burying the Aberdeen strugglers, only for the visitors to hit back right on the stroke of half time, giving them hope for the second half.

Winger Rory Riddell was the scorer but it was the chip and chase of flanker Daniel Brown and the excellent centre Angus Winning which enabled Riddell to touch down.

At 19-5 Gordonians were back in the game best and best served by centres Mark Marchbank and Winning, while the energy and application of Brown in the pack kept the visitors in the game.

Two more tries eased the home side through in the second half, both converted by centre Euan Morrison who  was successful with four of his five attempts at goal.

The win for Stewart’s Melville keeps them in the promotion race one point behind Dumfries but with a game in hand on the Doonhamers.

Gordonians had their chances in the second half but only took one of them when in almost in the last play of the day lock Struan Robertson plunged over for a try which Winning failed to convert.

In the run-in the Countesswells side have games at home to Preston Lodge and Falkirk and on the road against Newton Stewart and already relegated Whitecraigs as they bid to hunt down Kirkcaldy and Hamilton.

Stewart’s Melville are coached by former Aberdeen Grammar captain and stand off Alex Hagart whose neat, enterprising hand was evident in the organised home back division.

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