Ayr storm to late triumph

Highland 13 Ayr 19
A late try from stand-off Johnny McCorkindale saw Ayr win the under-16 National Youth League Bowl Final at Murrayfield tonight.

It was a dramatic finish to the contest with the lead changing hands three times in the closing stages.

Highland had opened the scoring through centre Ruari Casey, Hamish Hepburn converting, while Ayr’s riposte was capped by a try from Sam Gray.

The score was 7-5 to Highland at the break and for most of the second-half, a Highland try being ruled out for a forward pass.
As the clock ticked down towards no-side Hepburn landed a penalty but when Highland scrum-half Fionnlagh Call was sin-binned for foul play, Ayr exploited their superiority, a break up the right touchline by Hamish McIntosh, setting up the position for McIntosh to cross for their second try.  McCorkindale landed a press ure conversion.

Ayr now led 12-10 but Highland’s resistance was not yet spent.  They roused themselves to another attack and when Ayr were penalised Hepburn landed a fine goal in the difficult, gusting wind.

Ayr responded anew, however and McCorkindale’s try and conversion crowned their grandstand finish.

Player of the match, as selected by Scotland and Glasgow Warriors back Sean Lamont, was Ayr’s Hamish McIntosh.

Highland: Hamish Hepburn; Harris Ross, Calum Boyd, Ruari Casey, Harrison Wright; Iain Crush, Fionnlagh Call; Murdo Paterson, Ryan Gallagher, John Falconer, Jack Dingwall, Calum Hay, Alisdair McArthur, Johnny Grant and Bruce Flockhart. Subs: Christopher Johnson, Jack Lyle, Stephen Grant, Douglas Darling, Jamie Rodgers and Lyall Archer. 

Ayr: Sam Gray; Elliot Skeoch, Hamish McIntosh, Callum Cook, Ross Limond; Johnny McCorkindale, Michael Manning; Ryan Dunlop, Ruaridh Sayce, Gregor Lynch, Stewart Angus, Andrew Harvey, Ross Hay, Peter McNair and Bryan Kelly.  Subs: Zachary Howard, Lee White, Gavin Lawrie, Sam Donnelly, Craig Dunne, Billy Thomson, Liam Matthews.

Referee: Paul Cyphus.