Tennents Premiership



By Angus Hyde

Pictures: George McMillan

AFTER going top over the new year following their emphatic win over Melrose, Ayr extended their stay as frontrunners with a close, hotly-contested game against Boroughmuir at Millbrae.

Ayr opened the game with intent, piling on the pressure within the first few minutes and knocking on the door of Boroughmuir’s try line. The home side came close when Paddy Kelly made a darting run, before a sublime offload to Paddy Dewhirst who then chipped the Boroughmuir defence in hope of an opening try, but the ball took an unlucky bounce into touch, ending Ayr’s attack.

Although pushing hard at the start, Ayr made several mistakes when on the brink of putting points on the board, with two separate penalties the saviour for Boroughmuir.

However, Ayr eventually broke through in 15 minutes after a fantastic 20-metre catch and drive maul, finishing off with Pat MacArthur touching down. Frazier Climo made no mistake in adding to the scoreline as the Kiwi converted the try with ease.

The visitors almost instantly grabbed an equaliser had it not been for an unlucky forward pass as Jordan Edmunds’ piercing run and offload left Ayr exposed on the wing. A determined Boroughmuir continued to press but impressive defensive efforts from Ayr, spearheaded by captain Peter

At the break Ayr were on top but it wasn’t over just yet, Boroughmuir making their presence known to the league leaders by presenting a couple of dangerous attacks and impressive defensive efforts.

The second half started with a bang, as the Millbrae side put on relentless pressure after Paddy Kelly made headway deep into the Boroughmuir 22, resulting in two scrums for Ayr which continued their assault on the opposition try line. Ayr broke through eventually in 46 minutes as Grant Anderson finished off an impressive move from Climo, who stepped the defender before offloading to the full-back, gifting Anderson his seventh try of the season. Climo doubled their lead by conversion, finishing off a fantastic team effort.

Boroughmuir revived as Tom Wilson evaded three tackles running half of the pitch before being brought down by Anderson, with the pressure continuing as the home side conceded two scrums and, ultimately, being pushed back to their own try line. A third penalty and final warning were given out by referee Michael Todd, just before Boroughmuir forced their way through. Gav Parker nipped the try for the visitors and finished off his own move by slotting the conversion to give them a valuable seven points with 15 minutes left.

Boroughmuir broke again with what looked like an agonising equaliser, if not for yet another forward pass denying former Ayr-man Kerr Gossman a try against his old team mates.

The two teams stood at 78 minutes in what seemed to be the final standoff in the Ayr 22. A brave defence repulsed the Boroughmuir attack multiple times, leading to a poor pass from the attackers to derail their assault. The turnover from Ayr, courtesy of Dewhirst, signalled that they were intent on staying top of the league.

A close game, both teams can credit themselves with a good performance however the Ayr squad can come away with the win as Slater Menswear Man-of-the-Match McCallum steered his team to victory with a strong physical display from a dominant pack.