Lasswade 17, Aberdeenshire 24
Lasswade are the lowest placed of five teams vulnerable to the second relegation place and are desperately in need of some points.
Aberdeenshire on the other hand, have never been lower than fifth in the table and are not completely out of the promotion race but need some unlikely slip-ups by the three teams currently above them.
They also won their home leg of this match-up 40-19 back in September and had to be favourites for the return.
Playing into the customary strong wind from Rosewell, the hosts could be reasonably satisfied with just the seven point deficit (5-12) at half time.
Despite having the lion’s share of territory Aberdeenshire were nearly into the second quarter before opening the scoring with a Ryan try at centre, converted by Blake.
Lasswade responded and eight minutes later Cook finished off some forward power play but too far out for White to convert against the wind.
Lasswade tried to play the more open rugby in the remainder of the half but paid the penalty when the wind took a pass astray and it was snapped up gratefully by Taylor for an easy run in to the corner.
Five minutes after the interval, with the wind at their backs the hosts continued to try to move the ball through hands and open play and paid a further price when another fumbled, windblown pass gifted space out wide for Taylor to grab his second try near the posts and Blake stretched the lead to 5-19.
Aberdeenshire adapted better to playing against the wind and ten minutes later used their forwards to drive most of the length of the pitch before sending it wide to Taylor to touch down in the corner and the 19 point gap appeared unassailable.
The home side revived their hopes immediately from the restart setting up a series of rucks on the Shire line before using superior numbers on the tight left side for Billingham to grab the points.
Keeping Aberdeenshire largely pinned in their half, Black popped the ball to the narrow side at a five metre scrum and Lamont squeezed between the defenders. White’s conversion from the touchline narrowed the gap to seven points.
In ungenerous mood, Shire mounted some attacks of their own as well as defending strongly in the remaining ten minutes and although Lasswade came close to their line on a couple of occasions they couldn’t improve on the loser’s bonus point which is not enough to improve their position in the League.
With a weekend Christmas and New Year, Lasswade’s next engagement is the short hop to Prestonpans on January 9.