Ayr vs Heriot's, Sat, 23/04/2016 - 15:00

Ayr
26 - 29
Full time
Heriot's
Saturday, 23 April, 2016 - 15:00 |

Heriot’s retained the BT Premiership title and were crowned league champions after overcoming Ayr 29-26 in the play-off final at Millbrae on Saturday.

Phil Smith’s men added to their BT Charity Shield and BT Cup titles to secure the treble at Ayr’s home ground with a fine performance in what was a showcase match between the top two sides in this season's BT Premiership.

A close first-half resulted in Heriot’s claiming a narrow lead at the interval before Ayr took control in the second with two tries inside minutes of one another.

Heriot’s pressurised with forward momentum and secured a come-back score through Charlie Simpson before a penalty try was awarded with minutes left on the clock to put Heriot’s in line for the title.

Heriot’s Head Coach, Phil Smith, said: “We tried to deliver across all parts of the game and managed to do so for large parts of the game.

It’s massive for the club to have secured the double for the first time, both the league and Cup. Everyone involved at the club is really proud of this squad and what we have achieved this season.”

The opening stages were dominated by Heriot’s who utilised quick ball from a series of penalties to bustle their way over, Jason Hill’s catch at the line-out resulted in Struan Dewar finding the line. 

Heriot’s full-back John Semple narrowly missed the conversion attempt moments later as the ball collided with the post in the fourth minute.

The Millbrae men built momentum of their own and were awarded when centre Danny McCluskey danced through midfield and found Junior Bulumakau who offloaded superbly to Grant Anderson for the host’s first try, which Frazier Climo converted.

On the 20 minute mark, Ayr attacked again through midfield, this time it was David Armstrong on the break and an inside ball from Craig Gossman which located captain Ross Curle for the run in. Climo added the extras.

Two tries from Heriot’s before the interval gave the visitors a narrow lead at the break, Simpson racing over after receiving from Semple before the full-back converted, and Neil Cochrane barging his way over from a driving maul.

Half-time: Ayr 14-17 Heriot’s

Ayr remained focused and continued to find holes in the Heriot’s defence before a penalty for the hosts provided an opportunity from metres out.

A catch and drive from the line-out resulted in Blair Macpherson crashing over in the corner, as Ayr regained their lead in the final come the 58th minute.

Minutes later, Curle read the Heriot’s backline and intercepted Hugh Fraser’s pass to race to the line from over 40 metres out to score his second and Ayr’s fourth of the match, before Climo converted.

Ayr looked to be in control but Heriot’s soon responded out-wide with Liam Steele finding space down the left wing to offload to Simpson who went over for this second score of the game in the 70th minute.

With four points now separating the two sides and ten minutes remaining on the clock, Heriot’s maintained possession deep inside the opposition’s half.

A driving maul made its way towards the line before the referee signaled a penalty try for Heriot’s and a yellow card for Pete McCallum in the 75th minute for collapsing the maul.

Semple stepped up to secure the conversion in front of the posts and a lead of three points with minutes remaining.

Ayr retained possession and found space through midfield before Heriot’s were awarded a penalty, which eventually lead to Fraser kicking into touch to secure the BT Premiership title for Heriot’s.

Full-time: Ayr 26-29 Heriot’s

Referee: Graeme Wells 

Team lineups

Ayr
Heriot's

Backs

15 Grant Anderson
14 Junior Bulumakau
13 Ross Curle (C)
12 Danny McCluskey
11 Craig Gossman
10 Frazier Climo
9 David Armstrong

Backs

15 John Semple
14 Charlie Simpson
13 Liam Steele
12 Cameron Ferguson
11 John Rae
10 Gregor McNeish
9 Tom Wilson

Forwards

1 George Hunter
2 James Malcolm
3 Javan Sebastian
4 Rob McAlpine
5 Scott Sutherland
6 Blair Macpherson
7 Will Bordill
8 Pete McCallum

Forwards

1 Martin Bouab
2 Michael Liness
3 Struan Cessford
4 Russell Nimmo
5 Jack Turley (C)
6 Struan Dewar
7 Alex Henderson
8 Jason Hill

Substitutes

16 Lewis Anderson
17 D'arcy Rae
18 Craig Stevenson
19 Andrew Dunlop
20 Archie Russell
21 Richard Dalgliesh
22 Haddon McPherson

Substitutes

16 Neil Cochrane
17 Murray McCallum
18 Roan Van Heerden
19 Jamie Syme
20 Hugh Fraser
21 Glenn Bryce
22 Max Learmonth
There is no points table for this competition.

BT Premiership Play-Offs latest results

Ayr 26 v 29 Heriot's
Ayr 48 v 10 Melrose
Currie Chieftains 22 v 24 Heriot's