BT Cup Final
22 Apr 2017
With injury and illness depriving Melrose of their two regular wingers this BT Cup Final started with George Taylor out of position on one wing and youngster Patrick Anderson revelling in his appearance on the other, and saving at least one try. Lack of communication at the kick off allowed Ayr back row to collect the ball and race up the right side before passing to Danny McCluskey who scored the opening try with only 43 seconds on the clock. At 22 minutes Melrose put in a driving maul after a penalty lineout with Grant Runciman collecting the try. On the half hour Jason Baggott gave Melrose the lead with a penalty, but from the restart Melrose gave away a penalty which Frazier Climo looked to level the score.
Half time - Melrose 8 Ayr 8
Two minutes into the second half Baggott kicked Melrose back into the lead with another penalty. From the restart both Fraser Thomson and Baggott had kicks out of defence charged down allowing Ayr too much territory too close to the Melrose line. David Armstrong on attack, made an outrageous dummy and passed the ball back inside to Will Bordill who raced to the line for a try converted by Climo, who ended the Ayr scoring with a penalty on the hour mark. Five minutes later a kick out of defence by Climo was eventually snaffled by Murdoch McAndrew who broke and off-loaded to Taylor who ran in unopposed for a try and Craig Jackson's conversion levelled the scores. Playing a penalty advantage, with thee minutes remaining, Melrose put in a fine handling move towards the Ayr line and from a well worked overlap Nyle Godsmark nipped over on the left for the winning try. Ayr attached from the restart to make the last few seconds a nail biting affair. 'Man of the Match" was Grant Runciman.
In two close encounters on successive Saturdays each team has won once with Melrose scoring 4 tries to Ayr's 2 and Melrose scoring 31 points to Ayr's 30.
Melrose 23 Ayr 18
Melrose - Fraser Thomson, George Taylor, Nyle Godsmark, Craig Jackson, Patrick Anderson, Jason Baggott, Bruce Colvine, Jamie Bhatti, Russell Anderson, Nick Beavon, James Head, Rhuridh Knott, Neil Irvine-Hess, Grant Runciman, Iain Moody. Replacements - Cammie Mackay, Dan Ellington, Ruairi McLeod, Ali Grieve, Peter Eccles, Murdo McAndrew, Gavin Wood
Ayr - Grant Anderson, Danny McCluskey, Ross Curle, Stafford McDowell, Craig Gossman, Frazier Climo, David Armstrong, George Hunter, Lewis Anderson, Steven Longwell, Craig Stevenson, Scott Sutherland, Blair MacPherson, Will Bordill, Peter McCallum. Replacements - David Young, Djustice Sears-Duru, Gregor Henry, Harry Warr, Archie Russell, Richard Dalgleish, Robbie Smith.
Referee - Lloyd Linton