AYRSHIRE Bulls continue their FOSROC Super6 campaign on Saturday, with a top of the table clash with Watsonians, at Myreside.

They warmed-up for this important fixture with a training game, against a Scotland Under-20 team, on the new artificial surface at Queen Margaret Academy, on Saturday. Since it was a training game, the result – a 14-14 draw – was not important. What mattered for Sean Lineen and the Scotland coaches was, they got to look at some candidates for the squad for the Under-20 Six Nations, including Ayr Club XV duo Scott Clelland and Craig Miller.

Bulls’ Coach Peter Murchie said: “I felt it was important that we got a hit-out prior to what will be a huge game at Myreside on Saturday. With it being a training game, we could roll the subs bench, so, all 27 fit players got a run, and I was particularly pleased that Grant Anderson got 55 minutes – his first action since April – and he looked sharp. We hadn’t played for three or four weeks, so, against a very-talented side, it was a good exercise.”

Ayr Club XV meanwhile, lost 19-26 to Melrose in their Tennent’s National League 1 clash at Millbrae.

The match was actually curtailed by a floodlights failure after 68 minutes. However, under the SRU competition bye-laws, once a game has gone past the one hour playing time, the result stands. This was a bit unfortunate for Ayr, who were building up a nice head of steam when the lights went out, so, perhaps, had the game gone the full 80 minutes, the final result might have been different.

Melrose took an early lead when Ben McLean went over at the back of a rolling maul, but his try was unconverted. Ayr fought back and after several well-controlled phases, Ben Cree confirmed the Man of the Match call when he smashed over for a try, which Andy Morrison converted to put Ayr ahead 7-5.

However, their lead lasted less than 10 minutes, before ‘Rose full-back Kieran Clark cut a scything run through the home defence for a try which David Colvine converted. But five minutes later, Cree scored his second try, Morrison added the extras and it was 14-12.

The visitors ended the first half a man down, with Lewis Mallin in the bin. However, Clark found space wide-out to go over, with Colvine’s conversion making it 19-14 to Melrose. However, in the final attack of the first half, Ayr’s Cammie Black plunged over on the touchline and with the conversion failing, it was 19-19 at the break.

First blood to the visitors after the interval, with Clark completing his hat-trick and Colvine goaling the conversion to make it 26-19.

However out went the lights and the game had to be abandoned, however, the result stands.

Words: Matt Vallance.

Pix: George McMillan