Aberdeen Grammar’s battle to survive in National League 1 will continue after losing in the Borders to Selkirk 18-9.
And their hopes of staying up were improved by the fact that Howe of Fife and Hamilton, both beneath them, lost.
“It was a brutal day of wind and rain,” said Grammar team manager John Stewart.
“But one in which we should have come away with at least a losing bonus point.”
Grammar started brightly enough, racing into a six-point lead, thanks to two well-struck penalties from centre Tom Aplin, only to be hit by two harsh yellow cards, enabling the Soutars to score an unconverted try and a penalty to lead 8-6 at the break.
In the second half, the Aberdeen side managed another penalty from Aplin, but were undone by a Selkirk penalty and a converted try. But while the North-east’s top side were struggling, Caley Division 1 leaders Gordonians were enjoying a Caledonia Regional Shield triumph at Countesswells where, in a highly-competitive final, they narrowly overcame Strathmore 13-5, setting themselves up nicely for a league and shield double.
“We have been learning to win in tight games,” said Tom Williams, the Gordonians captain.
“We now need to step up and win our remaining league games. It was a great occasion.”
Williams led by example from start to finish in a game attended by the biggest crowd of the season in the Caley area, despite poor overhead and underfoot conditions.
The national League 2 game at Woodside was called off due to a frozen pitch.