Sunday, 15 January 2017

Ayr 42 Boroughmuir 19

Ayr scored six tries to beat Boroughmuir in the BT Premiership at Millbrae on Saturday afternoon.

There was a minute's silence before kick-off to remember past player and club member, and Scottish Rugby doctor, Jim Hay, who passed away last week.

The game then got off to a flying start. There was barely a minute on the clock when Ayr flanker Will Bordill found a gap in the visitors' defence and flew through it for the first try, with stand-off Frazier Climo converting. 7-0.

Boroughmuir had their chances early on, with a galloping break by second row Callum Atkinson, but he was dragged down by Ayr scrum-half David Armstrong.

Ayr soon regained possession and muscled their way into Boroughmuir's half, firing the ball through the hands until prop Steven Longwell scored a second try. Climo lined up the conversion from almost the same position as the first one and it was also successful. 14-0.
Boroughmuir were rattled, their restart not going beyond the ten-metre line. From the resulting scrum, Ayr number eight and captain Pete McCallum drove his forwards on until the ball got to Climo, who put in a cross-field kick.

Boroughmuir fumbled it, Ayr winger Danny McCluskey quickly scooped the ball up and popped it to centre Archie Russell, who sprinted over the line for the try. Climo once again converted. 21-0.

More attacking opportunities arose for Ayr, with winger Craig Gossman chasing a kick and flanker Blair Macpherson and Longwell headed for the line, but not reaching it.

Gossman then found himself under an attempted clearance from Boroughmuir, getting the ball away to Armstrong, who had prop George Hunter in support before it was fed to centre Ross Curle, but his pass went to no-one.

It had been an incredibly quick first quarter, Ayr relishing the pace and Boroughmuir struggling to get organised. Ayr second rows Robert McAlpine and Scott Sutherland compounded the visitors' misery by bullying them at the line-out and upsetting their attacking plans.

Ayr's scrum held firm on the muddy pitch, but the ball was getting slippy and knocks-on by both teams ensued.
Boroughmuir found their composure though. They settled down at the line-out, and centre Mark Hare made one of his many breaks, before winger Jordan Edmunds glided through the Ayr defence to score. Stand-off Chris Laidlaw converted. 21-7.

Ayr racked up the penalties but Boroughmuir just couldn't gain any points from them. Whenever they set off with ball in hand, the likes of Armstrong, Gossman, full-back Grant Anderson and hooker David Young were there to close them down.

The ball loose after a fierce tackle, Curle kicked it down to Boroughmuir's twenty-two, McCluskey chasing, hacking on, collecting and very literally propelling himself through the air and over the line for a dramatic try. Climo converted just before half-time. 28-7.
Boroughmuir went down to fourteen men after the resumption, with flanker Aubrey Mcube in the sin bin, but they pressed on in attack, Edmunds leading the charge. Longwell and replacement prop Djustice Sears-Duru had their hands full trying to contain them.

Boroughmuir crept ever closer to the try-line, but some hefty tackles by McCallum and replacement winger Jamie Bova, and a particularly crunching one by Russell, repelled the Meggetland men.

The visitors eventually crossed the whitewash, former Ayr player Dougie Steele diving over to the delight of his team-mates. Laidlaw converted. 28-14.

It was then Ayr's turn to be reduced to fourteen, with Macpherson dismissed for ten minutes. They didn't let it affect them though. Armstrong flicked the ball to Sears-Duru, who found Longwell, with the man of the match blasting through the blue jerseys.

The ball was knocked on, but Longwell again headed for the line a few minutes later, with Russell, Curle and Gossman in support. A line-out launched McAlpine over for the score. With Climo substituted, Curle converted. 35-14.
The crowd wanted more and were disappointed when an offload from Sears-Duru to Bordill was deemed forward.

It was Boroughmuir who got the next score, despite industrious defence by Ayr, with Young and replacement second row Craig Stevenson bundling attackers away from the line. But the always dangerous Edmunds crossed for his second try. Laidlaw couldn't convert this time. 35-19.

Boroughmuir's tails were up and they zoomed off from a quick penalty, Ayr replacement Lewis Anderson and a restored Macpherson desperately trying to stop them. They were over the line but just knocked on before they could ground the ball.

Ayr had knocks-on of their own, handing back possession to Boroughmuir and their second row Matthew Tweddle raced off. He was tracked down by Ayr replacement back Stafford McDowall, who pounced on a loose ball, which was then kicked away.

Boroughmuir collected it and patiently made for the line but couldn't score again.

Ayr retrieved a Boroughmuir kick, and the visitors couldn't scramble their defence quick enough to stop Curle rocketing for the line.
It looked like a certain try, but he was somehow stopped just short and then held up. The scrum for Ayr launched another attack, the ball eventually going over in the hands of Bordill. Curle converted to bring the match to an end. 42-19.

Ayr head to Bridgehaugh next weekend for another BT Premiership clash with Sitrling County before their BT Cup campaign begins with a trip to Rubislaw for a third round match against Aberdeen Grammar. Their next home tie is on Saturday 18th February when they welcome Watsonians in the last round of the BT Premiership.

Final score: Ayr 42 Boroughmuir 19.

Slaters Menswear man of the match: Steven Longwell.

- Elena Hogarth.

Photos courtesy of George McMillan. Please seek permission before reproducing images for commercial purposes.

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