Redskins silence Dons as they take a step closer to title

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National League Division Two

Aberdeenshire12

Hawick YM29

THE Redskins endured physical opponents on the pitch and a hostile environment off it, but left Aberdeen with a victory which took them a step closer to National Division One.

They made the long journey north without two of their regular front row, with both Alistair Turnbull and Garry Douglas injured, which saw replacements Finlay Robb and Craig Traynor drafted in.

Despite the enforced changes, it didn’t take them long to get off the mark when a deft grubber kick from Dean McCracken after just two minutes bounced nicely into the hands of Glyn Desport to open the scoring.

The expected brutality of the Aberdeenshire front row was starting to bear fruit with the home crowd cheering every push and movement backwards.

But it was the YM who swiftly wiped the smiles off their faces when Chris Ritson finished off another classy move to score under the sticks and Lee Armstrong slotted the conversion.

Aberdeenshire missed a couple of penalties before they registered their first try on the 16th minute mark which went unconverted.

The next 20 minutes were pretty nip and tuck with the Aberdeenshire forwards getting the better of the YM, and during this time a brutish and cowardly stamp on Stephen Hill went unpunished.

But it was the Redskins who once again had the last laugh, and on 35 minutes replacement Neil McColm broke down the wing and managed to battle on for the try.

Just on the half-time whistle Craig Traynor received a yellow card which meant for the first 10 minutes of the second half YM would be down to 14 men.

The second half started with the expected deluge by the Aberdeenshire pack which was spurred on by their overly excited support. And they were in heavenly ecstasy when their number 10 shot in under the posts to score a try which he converted himself.

The home support were giving it all, some running up and down the touchiline following the play, but once again on the 53rd minute they had their hopes dashed.

The YM were awarded a couple of quick penalties and with the score at 17-12 cries of ‘take the points’ were ringing from the sidelines.

But they chose instead to tap the penalty and scrum half Bruce Campbell scrambled in for his second try in three games, with Armstrong converting to stretch their lead.

The final 25 minutes saw Aberdeenshire put the YM under enormous pressure, but the Redskins did brilliantly to hold out and rubbed salt in the wound when in the final minute of the match replacement Greig Wylie romped in from 35 yards to score in the corner and silence the Dons.