Tennent's Premiership

AYR 20


By Callum Kerr

Pictures: George McMillan.

IN 1374, long before rugby had graced God's green earth, poet Geoffrey Chaucer said: "All good things must come to an end".

Fast forward to 2018 and on Saturday Watsonians provided a stark reminder to Ayr that nothing lasts forever. The Edinburgh side upset the league leaders with a 25-20 road victory to mark Peter Murchie's first loss at the helm of Ayr RFC.

The victory ended Ayr's eight-game unbeaten run this season and meant the Bill McLaren Shield would go to Myreside for the first time in its' inception.

The visitors fired out of the blocks hungrier, and had their first score within the opening two minutes. Second-rower Charlie McKill latched onto a crafty offload out of contact and cantered in unchallenged.

Ayr looked to counter the early blow moments later when Kyle Rowe darted clear out wide. The covering tackler wasn't able to catch him but did manage to usher Rowe back in-field where help was on hand to end the attack.

Just as Ayr looked to be in the game two penalties in quick succession stretched Watsonians lead. After just fifteen minutes the home side found themselves 13 points adrift and facing an uphill climb.

The game began to balance out and fifteen minutes passed with possession swinging like a pendulum. With ten left in the half Ayr knew they would need to get on the board and they did, courtesy of Frazier Climo who split the uprights with a routine penalty.

Ayr were still looking for their first try and straight from the restart Steven Longwell was able to provide it with a moment of brilliance. Climo carried into contact and although wrapped up by two defenders managed to lay-off a delicate off-load into the palms of the charging Longwell. The prop had broken clear and looked left and right for support to find nobody near. On his own, he pinned back the ears and stampeded over the top of the full-back before a leap of faith for the line- all the more impressive with two defenders latched to his back.

The referee signalled for the score to ignite a rampant Millbrae. Climo's conversion meant they trailed by just three with minutes left on the clock.

Watsonians weren't quite done yet, however, and managed to retaliate with two tries in quick succession before the ref could blow for the intermission.

Ayr had worked hard to get back into contention but the two-try sucker punch to conclude the half meant they had a mountain in front of them once play resumed.

Straight from the off they went to work. With just a minute gone Climo managed to prance around his man and over the line. He duly converted to bring scoring to 25-17.

Ayr remained the aggressor, but could only muster up another penalty to cut the gap to five. From then on, tentative defending came out on top.

With the dying embers of the game whittling away it was Watsonians who enjoyed possession, and two held-up scores in injury time managed to salvage a solitary losing-bonus point for Ayr.

Steven Longwell was named Slaters Menswear Man of the Match

The second XV suffered a similar fate, falling 12-33 to Watsonians 2s. Amir Rademaker was selected Man of the Match.