Sunday, 2 March 2014

Ayr 22 Edinburgh Accies 11

Ayr scored four tries to overcome Edinburgh Accies at Millbrae on Saturday afternoon and secure a bonus point in the RBS Premiership.
The home side got off to a roaring start with a try scored by winger Kerr Gossman with barely a minute on the clock.  It was a blink-and-miss-it score from Gossman the younger, who flew up the wing whilst most of the fans were still settling into their seats.  Ross Curle's conversion attempt hung in the air before floating away to the side of the posts.  5-0.

It wasn't long before Gossman the elder, Craig, looked like he was going to fly over the line for another try but fresh-faced referee Sam Grove-White called him back for an infringement.

Edinburgh Accies settled down with a couple of lineouts and a scrum but again the elder Gossman was proving a thorn in their side, chasing off after a loose ball with outside centre Robbie Fergusson in support.  Accies managed to secure it.

However, Gossman was clearly determined to get on the score sheet, and minutes later he managed to cross the whitewash after solid handling from inside centre Dean Kelbrick and lock Scott Sutherland released him.  Curle's conversion again drifted wide.  10-0.
Ayr continued to apply pressure but a loose pass from scrum-half Peter Jericevich allowed the visitors to launch their first sustained attack, which eventually came to nothing.  Ayr started to give away penalties, but so did Accies and when their lock Jamie McCarthy galloped away to the tryline, it was his team's indiscipline that brought him back for an Ayr scrum.
Despite good attacking and defensive efforts from prop Denford Mutamangira and Kerr Gossman respectively, Accies clawed their way back into the game and stand-off Alex Blair crossed for a try in the second quarter.  Scrum-half Alex Black couldn't convert.  10-5.
A few minutes later, Black had another kick at goal, this time a penalty, which sailed over the crossbar.  10-8.
With just two points in it, both sides seemed a bit anxious.  Accies were making some handling errors and they still couldn't contain either Gossman, with Craig collecting his own chip-kick and racing off.  Fortunately for Accies, they managed a turnover before he could cause any further damage, but again they couldn't do anything with it.
The first half finished with the home team and visitors having been pinged by the referee several times.
Edinburgh Accies took to the field with renewed purpose for the second half, putting Ayr's scrum under considerable pressure but Ayr number eight Peter McCallum managed to scoop the ball up before the visitors could get their paws on it.

Black had a chance at forty-two minutes to put Accies in front but he missed the penalty kick.  It didn't seem to affect them, as they went for Ayr's line but couldn't get over.

Their cause was helped at around fifty minutes as Ayr went down to fourteen men when Mutamangira found himself yellow-carded.  Accies winger Nyle Godsmark wriggled his way through a few tackles but couldn't get anywhere.

Ayr's scrum held well with only seven men (flanker Andrew Dunlop made way for veteran prop Gordon Sykes to come on in the front row) but as the match approached the final quarter, Black slotted another penalty.  10-11.
Accies looked to push on and run the ball from their own half via winger Chris Dean, who slipped tackles to charge to nearly the half-way line.  But somehow the ball ended up in the hands of Ayr replacement scrum-half Murray McConnell and before anyone could do anything, he was off like a rocket up the touchline, the Millbrae faithful screaming him on in delight.  He finished with a flourish, swan-diving over the line.  Curle's conversion from outwide was short.  15-11.
Ayr knuckled down to some serious attacking play in the final ten minutes, with full-back Grant Anderson, Mutamangira and McCallum going for the line.  It was Sutherland who eventually powered over for the fourth try and the bonus point.  Curle converted.  22-11.
More attacks were launched by both sides but it all got a bit scrappy.  Anderson, both Gossmans and later replacement winger Danny McCluskey were bobbing about but a further score eluded them and what looked like a try for Edinburgh Accies wasn't given by the referee, who then blew the whistle for full time.
Final score: Ayr 22  Edinburgh Accies 11
- Elena Hogarth.

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