PREM REVIEW | Ayr record bonus try win at Melrose
The Greenyards hosted the Tennent’s Premiership’s top two on Saturday, as Ayr looked to regain top position after being deposed by their hosts last weekend.
The first 10 minutes saw both teams cancel each other out with a physical start. Unfortunately, Melrose hooker Russell Anderson suffered an early injury and had to be stretchered off.
Melrose opened the scoring after a series of penalties in the oppositions 22 – replacement Richard Ferguson made an instant impact as he powered his way over after 12 minutes, but the conversion, which was sweetly struck, came back off the post [5-0].
Ayr, however, came powering back into the contest to dominate the rest of the first half. Frazier Climo was clinical with the boot, putting Ayr back in front with two penalties as the icy rain started to hammer down.
The first try for Ayr came after a low kick down the left line was collected by Melrose but was swiftly turned over by Kyle Rowe who wrestled the ball back to complete a smart spinning finish.
It was to be Ayr’s number 10, Climo, who would extend the lead on the stroke of half-time, jinking through the Melrose defence to dive over and convert [5-18].
With the light fading fast and the earlier injury to Anderson, the players agreed on a five-minute turn-around as the tough wintery conditions set in.
Half-Time: Melrose 5-18 Ayr
It was the home side who struck the first blow of the second half - following a re-shuffle in the back-line - as Edinburgh’s George Taylor entering the fray.
Taylor proved to be the catalyst for the try seven minutes after the break with an impressive run at pace before feeding Patrick Anderson who took the ball over the whitewash, but the conversion was missed as Ayr held an on to an eight-point lead.
Ayr responded in impressive fashion with a try through Pat Macarthur in the right corner to take the wind out of their opponents sails. It was no surprise when Climo’s kick was again successful from right of the posts, with the score now 10 -25.
Melrose pulled a try back through Iain Sim, but Ayr ensured they would take the bonus point spoils with a try from the final play of the game through fluid passing, which eventually came to the hands of Climo to complete an impressive performance.
There was little doubt who would be taking the Player of the Match award home as Climo slotted the conversion after his second try, scoring 22 of his side’s points, as the full-time whistle blew with the score 15 – 32.
In the rest of the Tennent’s Premiership Round 14 fixtures, Heriot’s were run-away winners 54-12 at home to Stirling to keep their play-off credentials on track, while Watsonians squeezed past Hawick by a single point 12-13.
The games between Glasgow Hawks and Currie Chieftains and Boroughmuir against Edinburgh Academicals were cancelled due to the weather.
Saturday 15 Dec 2018 - Tennent's Premiership Results
Hawick RFC 12 - 13 Watsonian FC
Heriot's 54 - 12 Stirling County RFC
Melrose RFC 15 - 32 Ayr RFC
Glasgow Hawks RFC P - P Currie Chieftains
Boroughmuir P - P Edinburgh Academical FC
P: Matches postponed (frozen pitch)