Tennent's Premiership


AYR 30

By Callum Kerr

THIS was an enthralling win for Ayr RFC on the opening day of the season.

They fended off a rampant Edinburgh Accies side to snatch a comfortable victor.

Straight from kick-off Ayr showcased their physicality. A bruising first carry from Blair Macpherson was an ideal welcome to to the Premiership for newly promoted Accies. His carry got the ball rolling and within minutes Ayr were over for their first of the day. The ball was shipped wide to Jamie Bova who managed to draw the last defender before feeding Grant Anderson on his inside shoulder. Anderson ran clear to open the scoring.

Accies slowly started to get into the game but were unable to capitalise on good territory. Ayr managed to break up the field before winning a penalty in front of the posts, which Lyle duly converted.

After 15 minutes Accies found themselves down eight with no real foothold in the game. They enjoyed the lion's share of possession but a sturdy defence kept them at bay. Soon Ayr were in for another.

A crafty quick line-out allowed David Armstrong to break clear up the touchline. He then offloaded to new boy Kyle Rowe who pinned his ears back, picking up a try on his Ayr debut. The tricky conversion skewed wide.

Within minutes Ayr were back in for their third. Accies were pinned just after the restart which gifted Lyle an opportunity to put us back in touching distance of the line. From the resulting line-out the maul started to drive forwards before a pile of bodies fell onto the whitewash. The ref blew for a try and it was Blair Macpherson who rose with the ball. Another missed kick meant the scoring sat at 18-0 and Ayr were in cruise control.

They say there is no better time to score than just before half-time and for Accies that's when it mattered. A sniping try from their centre gave them something to take into the break and provided them with a chance to build.

Accies came out of the half a different team. An attack which looked stagnant at times in the opening 40 minutes was starting to become expansive and crafty chips behind the line of defenders gave them the edge in the territory battle. The hosts were rewarded in the 55 and 59 minutes with two quickfire tries that changed the complexity of the game. A fixture that looked to be over after half an hour now delicately balanced on a knife-edge. Accies trailed by one point but were playing all of the rugby with 20 minutes to go.

Ayr needed to something to rei-gnite them and they needed it fast. Step up Kyle Rowe.

With just 11 minutes left, Ayr sat on half-way looking to muster up an attack. Rowe, pounced off his wing and into the midfield. He broke through the line and danced by a barrage of defenders to grab his second. The conversion was just so Ayr had a six-point lead.

The decisive score came not long after. Macpherson, who carried tremendously from the first whistle to the last, powered over with two minutes on the clock to take the game out of reach for Accies.

*There was also a victory for Ayr 2XV who beat Hamilton Bulls 2s 39-19. Youngster Wolf Van Dijk picked up the man-of-the-match award. Ayr are back in premiership action on Saturday when they take on Currie Chieftains at Millbrae, ko 3pm.