Saturday, 4 October 2014

Boroughmuir 16 Ayr 34

Ayr scored five tries to beat Boroughmuir at Meggatland in week six of the BT Premiership.

Whilst the visitors were simmering away nicely in the second half, they were a bit undercooked in the first.  Ayr's infringements didn't help their cause and there were only two minutes on the clock when Boroughmuir's stand-off Graeme Blackhall kicked a penalty.  3-0.

Ayr held firm at the set pieces and when Boroughmuir were launching attacks from the likes of centre Chris Hardie, Blair Macpherson, Kerr Gossman and Danny McCluskey were on hand to put a stop to it.

However, at ten minutes, they were penalised for not releasing and Blackhall stepped up to the tee again.  6-0.

After a couple of knocks-on from both sides, Ayr gained the possession and quickly moved to within five metres of the tryline.  But Glasgow Warriors' Sean Maitland's pass found no-one.

There was a lengthy stoppage as Ayr prop Nick Cox was unfortunately stretchered off with a broken ankle.  He was replaced by Stuart Fenwick.

Ayr had a chance to get on the scoreboard and full-back Grant Anderson successfully kicked a penalty.  6-3.

Boroughmuir were in attacking mode again, with prop Simon Bergham rumbling ominously close to Ayr's line, but Gossman got there in time to haul him to the ground.

Further knocks-on occurred before a great take at the line-out from flanker Graham Fisken allowed Fenwick and centre Richard Dalgleish to charge head-first into the home defence, but alas nothing came of their hard work. 

Some chat from Boroughmuir irritated the referee and he sent them back ten metres, and Ayr had a scrum on their five-metre line, although the ball somehow ended up in blue and green hands.

Despite a steal at the line-out and some great work from Glasgow Warriors' hooker Dougie Hall, Ayr were twice penalised for holding on. 

Boroughmuir were roaring themselves on, but perhaps got a bit over-excited as they knocked-on again and later threw a wonky ball at the line-out.  The ensuing scrum for Ayr allowed them to trundle to the tryline and after showing great patience, Anderson nipped over in the corner.  He converted his own score.  6-10.

At the start of the second half, Hall was again making metres and Gossman got his hands on the ball, fought his way up the wing and scored in the corner.  Anderson couldn't manage the wide conversion.  6-15.

Boroughmuir worked their way out of their own half and a great break from replacement prop Cal Davies, backed up by winger Frank Yawayawa and scrum-half Johnny Adams, almost resulted in a try but for a determined tackle by Ayr's scrum-half David Armstrong.

Ayr retained possession for the next few minutes and captain Dean Kelbrick led the attack, bashing his way through and over the Boroughmuir defenders.  A pile-up on the line followed but the home team turned over and cleared. 

Boroughmuir weren't giving Maitland any space at all but their own mistakes were helping the visitors along.  A kick straight out gave Ayr a line-out in a nice position and a blast from Macpherson gave Anderson the chance to skip over for his second try, which he converted.  6-22.

There were uncontested scrums for the rest of the match after a clash of heads forced Fenwick off to get stitched up. 

Ayr showed ambition and speed in their quest for a four-try bonus point but it wasn't to materialise just yet.  They had Yawayawa to contain and more personnel changes to deal with as Maitland gave way to Cameron Taylor and second row Graham Williamson was replaced by Craig Brown.

Boroughmuir demonstrated their ambition too, as they refused to lie down and roll over.  They bided their time in Ayr's half, spotted a gap in the defence and full-back Ian Martin raced through it for their first try.  He couldn't convert it.  11-22.

There was another long break in play as Ayr lost their third front row player of the afternoon, with Fraser Watt treated for a neck injury.  He thankfully was able to get up and walk off the field, and was replaced by Tom Hiddleston.

A back coming on for a prop didn't seem to upset Ayr too much, as Armstrong whipped the ball out of an uncontested scrum and fired it to Macpherson who ran over for that all-important fourth try.  Anderson got the conversion.  11-29.

Again, the home team came back at Ayr, this time number eight Magnus Bradbury escaping the clutches of the defenders to cross the whitewash.  Martin's conversion attempt was wide.  16-29.

There was time for one last attack from Ayr as they turned Boroughmuir over and Fisken, Dalgleish, Taylor and Hiddleston showed brilliantly quick hands to send Gossman over for his second and Ayr's fifth try.  Anderson's drop-kick conversion attempt was unsuccessful.  16-34.

No matter, as the whistle went for full-time and Ayr and their supporters could go home happy.

Final score: Boroughmuir 16 Ayr 34.

- Elena Hogarth.

Photos courtesy of Dave Patterson.

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