You might not believe this but there are folk out there who question the mental state of those of us who follow The Greatest Club In The World™ to the far flung corners of Scotland. Barmy but true.

In an effort to explain our reasoning I have decided to take you through Saturday gone. A rather lovely day as it turned out.

The Journey

After a 9:45am departure from Inverleith we trundled our way north on Scotland’s slowest coach. Some of you may think a three hour journey rather boring but with a wife and three kids at home I was delighted to have some peace and quiet to play Wordle and Connection and fail miserably at the Times crossword. Fizzy pop and Toffee Crisps kept energy levels high.

Lunch

After being dropped off in the rough vicinity of our lunch venue we arrived half an hour late to the Great Western Hotel to meet our hosts, Gordon and Howard. Two cracking chaps who refused any payment for our lunch (scampi and chips FYI) and Stella even though we had rocked up with five of us instead of the invited two. Hospitality at its best.

The Game

Surprisingly the temperature was above zero as the game kicked off. The sky was the same shade as the granite used in the local housing stock but at least it stayed dry. On the pitch it was a ding dong battle with both teams having periods of good possession. There were, however, plenty of errors being made. Grammar took the lead with a pen but we hit back not long after with Gregor Stirling going over in the corner. Grammar then scored a try before Stirling scored in the same corner. Both conversions were nailed by Kyle Henderson from the touch line. (An Aberdonian work colleague who was watching the game with me said of Stirling – “he is causing us bother every time he gets the ball”).

You may have noticed after reading last week’s match report that I struggle to take decent notes whilst watching games so I am unable to accurately report on some phases of the game but I do know that Grammar scored twice more before Jamie Sword got one back for us. 22 – 21 to Grammar at half time.

Into the second half and things started clicking for us. After a relatively quiet first half Mikey Jamieson started to get more involved. His first try was from a cross field kick from Henderson (who played a blinder). Not too long after that he had his hat trick. Hayden Hart rounded things off for us before Grammar got a consolation try. It finished 29 - 45. See – I told you my note taking skills were shocking!

Further Hospitality

Back to the Great Western Hotel for post-match hospitality. Lager, wine, sausage rolls, sandwiches and some of the finest chips I have ever had. And we were not allowed to pay for a thing. Most of the places we go to (but surprisingly not all…) offer excellent hospitality but Grammar, in my mind, beats the lot. A fantastic bunch of people who could not be more welcoming. It was at this moment that I realised we had effectively just relegated them. Not really the best way to say thanks....

Our mission to find refreshments for the journey home was successfully completed by Grammar stalwart Gordon Thomson who procured the necessary liquids.

Homeward Bound

Bus trips home are, unsurprisingly, more fun after a good victory and this was no exception. As an extra bonus we had a couple of newbies who regaled us with jokes, songs and ‘blue’ stories. Perhaps not as mental as the trips in the ‘good old days’ (no Port over the Forth Bridge for example) but genuinely enjoyable. We are very lucky at Stew Mel to have a fine bunch of young men representing us on and off the field. I very much hope that the vast majority will still be with us next season.

Home Time

I have a problem. In my head I am still a 21 year old who can drink all afternoon and still be thirsty for evening pints. Unfortunately, the reality is hugely different so after a quick hi and bye to Denise I sauntered off home. As you can imagine my wife was simply delighted to see me!

My thanks go out to my travel buddies Chairman Keith, CJ, Eileen and Robert but most of all to Aberdeen Grammar Rugby Club for the most wonderful hospitality. Fingers crossed we meet them again in the not too distant future.

Cheers

Breezy