The Aberdeen Exiles came out on top 29-17 in the traditional Boxing Day rugby fixture versus the Aberdeen Select in a match played in great spirits in front of a healthy crowd.
Now in its 93rd year and this time around being known as the PST Energy Ltd Exiles match, many familiar faces from the rugby scene in the north-east got together at Aberdeen Grammar’s Rubislaw ground for the fixture.
With the excesses of Christmas Day perhaps still in the systems, the teams were level at 0-0 after around 25 minutes, but things soon opened up and the tries started to flow.
The game was still in the mix heading into the closing stages, but the Exiles managed to see out the victory to back up their 37-19 triumph from 12 months ago.
Rory McKay, a former Glasgow Warriors player who was coaching the Exiles alongside Matthew Johnson, said: “The players really stuck in well and battled hard against a good Select team.
“Obviously a lot of the Exiles haven’t played together before, so it can take a bit of time to get into things, but they did a good job and it was good to see such a range of players in the squad including young talents like Ross Brown and Ross Birnie.
“Peter Jericevich showed his quality to control things well and it was just a great game which has been part of my festive routine for as long as I can remember.”
Aberdeen Grammar’s father and son duo Eric and Ryan Strachan were coaching the Select squad and the former said: “It was an end-to-end game with both sides putting a lot of energy into things meaning that it turned into a good contest.
“It was pleasing to see everyone getting a good run out.”
One of the organisers Jim Sugden added: “It really was a cracking match played in great spirits and it is what rugby in the area is all about.
“It was good to see players of all ages and who have connections with numerous local clubs coming together and then socialising with family and friends afterwards.”
Post-match there was a lunch which took place at Aberdeenshire Cricket Club’s Mannofield clubhouse with over 70 in attendance.