Rugby: Two wins for Aberdeen Grammar and top-half of National League 1 is within grasp

Aberdeen Grammar head coach Ali O'Connor.
Aberdeen Grammar head coach Ali O'Connor.

Aberdeen Grammar approach the halfway point of their National League 1 campaign needing two wins to guarantee themselves a top-half place.

That should not be beyond them given they play two of the strugglers.

First up tomorrow will be bottom side Cartha Queens Park at Rubislaw, followed by derby rivals Dundee High, who are third bottom, away from home.

Not that head coach Ali O’Connor is settling for middle-of-the-table position.

He said: “Unbelievably, after a losing run of four games, we are only 10 points behind leaders Jed-Forest.

“After last week’s win at Hamilton, we are targeting three in a row. This despite having a number of players not available due to them being at the wedding of Ross Anderson, one of our most popular young players.

“I’ll forgive them on this occasion, wishing Ross and his bride-to-be, Catriona, a great day. I just hope they all think of us in the mud of Rubislaw.’’

The Grammar back division is likely to be a strong one. But the absence of key players means the front row will be made up of hookers, including veteran Colin Neilson and Frank Selbie. But Grammar should still be too strong for the Glasgow visitors.

Gordonians, in the meantime, will have no such selection problems.

Head coach Ryan Morrice has players coming back from injury queuing up for places in the National League 3 table-topping side.

Centre Danny Usugo and No 8 Corey Buchan in particular will be keen to reclaim their places in the side to travel to Ayrshire, where they take on Ardrossan Accies, who, on their own heavy pitch, have beaten many an aspiring team over the years.

Morrice has the confidence of a winning coach who has an unbeaten record after nine starts and said: “It’s a pleasure to train these guys.

“We are in a good place, but taking nothing for granted. There’s a lot of rugby to be played before the end of the season. There are a lot of teams looking to be the first to lower our colours, including Ardrossan.’’

In Caley Division 1, Ellon have an immediate chance to put behind them last week’s 86-10 defeat at the hands of league leaders Strathmore in front of their loyal supporters at the Meadows.

Head coach Craig Parslow said: “There is no question of pressing panic buttons. We were beaten by a very good side, and view the game with Alloa as an entirely different challenge.’’

In the same division, Aberdeen Wanderers are at home again after their 50-19 defeat at Groats Road where second-placed Dunfermline were the visitors.

Glenrothes, another of the Fife contingent, will pose their own problems for the young Aberdeen side.