Ayr To Defend Title In Murrayfield Rematch

Ayr will defend their Premier Cup crown against last year's beaten finalists Melrose after a dramatic 21-25 semi-final win over 2005 champions Boroughmuir at Meggetland.

The classic encounter went right to the wire and with the drama of six well worked tried tries added to by three yellow cards and one red for centre Steven Ruddick who opened the scoring for the hosts early on at the corner.

Ayr will defend their Premier Cup crown against last year's beaten finalists Melrose after a dramatic 21-25 semi-final win over 2005 champions Boroughmuir at Meggetland.

The classic encounter went right to the wire with the drama of six well worked tries added to by three yellow cards and one red for centre Steven Ruddick who opened the scoring in a bright start for the hosts.

Stand-off Ally Warnock landed the difficult conversion from out wide before adding a penalty for a 10-0 lead.

Boroughmuir’s tails were up and keen to hit back at the favourites tag that arrived with the men in pink and black but, where they were strong in attack, Ayr were resolute in defence.

With such steadfast defending can often come infringements and Warnock comfortably stabbed over another two penalties to add to their impressive lead, 16-0.

It was then that Ruddick picked up his first yellow card and, with the man advantage, Ayr got to grips with the game, setting up camp in enemy territory and picking up a penalty which stand-off Ross Curle sent through the sticks before Steve Manning scored at the corner.

Curle missed the resultant conversion but it was evident that the confidence earned from the man advantage would live on after the 10 minute binning, despite Ayr prop Gordon Reid also picking up a yellow and ten minutes rest.

HALF TIME: 16-8

Ayr came flying out of the block after the break, pinned their opponents back in their 22 and smashed into the home defence until the inevitable score came from centre Mark Stewart.

Curle missed the conversion that would have made it a one point game before Warnock missed a long penalty to extend the gap, 16-13.

It was then time for the visitors to the turn the screw after Ruddick’s second offence saw him yellow carded and, as a result, ordered off for the remainder of the game.

With Curle having an off day in front of the sticks, Ayr opted to utilise their strong lineout from inside the Muir half.

The Millbrae pack secured ball and rumbled in on the try line before the ball was spun wide to centre Mark Bennett who went in under the posts (Curle converted) before Douglas Steele ran in a fourth (unconverted) score for Ayr.

Muir hooker Greg Jones got a consolation try at the corner but it was not enought to snatch back the lead.

FINAL SCORE: 21-25

The Premier Cup final (Melrose v Ayr) will kick-off at 4pm and follow the National Shield (Lasswade v Hawick YM, kick-off 2pm) and Regional Bowl (Duns v Strathendrick, kick-off 12 noon) finals.

Tickets are available to buy through your club who will keep the cash from the ticket sales!