The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - THE SCORE - BY JACK NIXON

berdeen Gram­mar head coach Ali O’Con­nor paid trib­ute to his for­wards who dom­i­nated in the mud and rain at Mus­sel­burgh, scor­ing five of the six tries in the 38-32 win.

The vic­tory keeps the Ru­bis­law side in third place in the Premier­ship, six points be­hind lead­ers Marr.

O’Con­nor said: “Not for the first time, there were some big per­for­mances from the for­wards. Robin Cess­ford was im­mense.

“We re­lied on our pack to get us on the front foot and in the con­di­tions to­day that was re­ally im­por­tant.

“We put the pres­sure on Mus­sel­burgh, forc­ing them into mak­ing mis­takes, earn­ing us a try bonus point, and en­abling us to go into next week’s game against GHA with op­ti­mism.”

The Stoney­hill side opened the scor­ing with a try in nine min­utes when winger Sandy Watt nipped over, giv­ing scrum-half Danny Owen­son the eas­i­est of kicks.

Gram­mar prop Ross An­der­son drove over for a try from short range, con­verted by cen­tre Tom Aplin, to level at 7-7.

Home winger Gregor Tait out­paced the Aberdeen cover de­fence be­fore his op­po­site num­ber Nathan Brown did the same at the other end, giv­ing him his seventh try of the cam­paign.

Both were con­verted, but it was Mus­sel­burgh who moved ahead with an Owen­son penalty which only served to spark a burst of scor­ing from the vis­i­tors.

First over was Cess­ford with two fine dashes to the line, a se­cond from An­der­son and a fi­nal ef­fort from flanker Chris Jol­lands, two of which were con­verted by Aplin.

In the midst of the Gram­mar scor­ing spree, the hosts kept in the game with touch­downs from Tait and lock Ge­orge McKinstry, and a penalty from Owen­son.

Gram­mar club cap­tain Doug Rus­sell un­der­lined the con­tri­bu­tion made by Cess­ford and No 8 Greig Ryan, say­ing: “These two were stand­outs on a day made for for­wards.”

Gor­do­nians crashed to a fifth con­sec­u­tive de­feat with a 29-7 loss at Kirkcaldy, leav­ing them bot­tom of Na­tional League 2 and eight points adrift of White­craigs and Glas­gow Ac­cies.

Club pres­i­dent Jim Sug­den said: “I felt sorry for the guys, play­ing on a heavy wet pitch against a Kirkcaldy side who were bet­ter suited to the con­di­tions.

“There was no lack of ef­fort from us.”

Kirkcaldy led 17-0 at half-time but, de­spite a spir­ited se­cond half, the Aberdeen side just man­aged one try, by cap­tain Danny Usugo and con­verted by full-back Graeme Crawford, only for the Fifers to add two more tries.

There was bet­ter news from Thurso where Caith­ness reg­is­tered a first win in Na­tional League 3, their 22-14 win over Strath­more tak­ing them off the bot­tom of the divi­sion.

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