A spirited second-half performance from Aberdeen Grammar was not enough to save them from a 51-12 defeat at the hands of high-flying Ayr of the Premiership in the third round of the Scottish Cup at Rubislaw.
After a cautious start the west coast side ran in six unanswered tries to lead 32 -0 at half-time.
But they were surprised by a fighting comeback by the home side who scored two quality tries through centre Matt Arnold, only to run out of steam in the closing stages against Ayr, who are now in a strong position to register a league and cup double.
“We didn’t cope with Ayr’s physicality in the first half,” said Ali O’Connor, the Grammar head coach.
“But we knuckled down in the second half, giving our prospects of avoiding relegation a huge boost.
“In Robin Cessford we had one of the best forwards on the pitch, while newcomer Craig Shepherd was a stand-out all full-back.”
Aberdeenshire exited the competition after they withdrew from the trip to the Borders where they were scheduled to meet Jed-Forest, citing no front row cover.
Gordonians won their local derby in Caley Division 1 against relegation-threatened Aberdeen Wanderers, easing through 34-14.
“It was a hard-fought affair,” said Jim Sugden, the Gordonians president.
“Wanderers pushed us close, but the best part of the day was the news from Fife where our nearest rivals Caithness were beaten 19-3 by Glenrothes, giving us a cushion going into the final stages of the league run-in.”