Aberdeen Grammar’s bid to reach the Premiership play-offs came to a shuddering halt deep in the Scottish Borders where they found Hawick too hot to handle.
The Rubislaw men conceded nine tries to the irresistible green machine who are now certain of a play-off place.
The main talking point among the Grammar faithful was not just the 53-7 margin of defeat but the fact a number of senior players opted to go skiing rather than go to Hawick.
In total 23 players were not available for selection, resulting in the second team having to postpone its game with Highland 2nds in Inverness.
Grammar head coach Ali O’Connor was disappointed with the outcome but said: “We struggle to field teams for away games, as do most other clubs.
“We will just have to regroup for the last game of the season at home to Marr next Saturday.
“It’s an opportunity to salvage some pride and prestige.”
There was better news from Countesswells where Gordonians put their recent spell of bad form behind them, surging out of the relegation area in National League 2 after beating Hamilton Bulls 29-8 – to the relief of head coach Ryan Morrice.
He said: “Today for the first time in weeks everything went right for us.
“We attacked with authority and defended equally well.
“Our captain Danny Usugo rolled back the years with an inspiring performance, capping it with two excellent tries.
“We now face Falkirk away next week in another must-win game, but this was just the boost we needed.”
In the Caledonia leagues, Orkney made near certain of winning Division 1 after beating nearest challengers Dunfermline 33-13 in Kirkwall.
At the Meadows, Ellon and Aberdeen Wanderers shared 10 tries, but it was Ellon who triumphed with a 38-31 victory despite a late rally from the Groats Road side.
Relegation-threatened Garioch lost 31-10 at Grangemouth.
Aberdeenshire became the first team in the Caledonia leagues to be promoted after beating Mackie FPs 24-18 at Stonehaven in Caley 2 North, while in Caley 4 North Aberdeen University Medics look certain to top the division after thrashing 2nd Ellon 81-8 at Kings College.