Ayr vs Melrose Round 5 Tennent's Premiership
29 Sep 2018
It was a cool, dull and dry day at the seaside for this Tennent’s Premiership match. All the heat was on the pitch with both sides giving their all, as would be expected from the two undefeated teams at the top of the league. Play ebbed and flowed back and forth for the first quarter of an hour before the first score. Ayr won a lineout close to the Melrose line and Grant Anderson, deputising at scrum half for David Armstrong who was having a head cut repaired, dived over from the back of a ruck for a try converted by Frazier Climo. At 21 minutes Rory Hughes was yellow carded for a high tackle, and within five minutes Melrose won a penalty lineout in the right corner. After several picks and drives spreading play left Jason Baggott dived into the left corner for an unconverted try. Immediately after the restart Climo kicked a long-range penalty to increase the Ayr lead. Within two minutes of Hughes’ return Kyle Rowe and Anderson inter-passed before off-loading to Climo who scored and converted to the left of the posts.
Half time – Ayr 17 Melrose 5.
Three minutes into the second half Melrose pressure ended with Fraser Thomson racing down the far touch-line before the ball eventually reached Patrick Anderson whose try in the right corner was well converted by Craig Jackson. This was followed by a long delay whilst Ruaridh Knott was stretchered off to hospital with a severe knee injury. We all wish him a speedy recovery. On resumption of play Stafford McDowall dummied his way over for a try converted by Climo. At 61 minutes Blair Macpherson disrupted a Melrose driven lineout by coming in from the side and being awarded a yellow card for his efforts. From the resulting penalty lineout Bruce Colvine crossed for an unconverted try. With seven minutes remaining Struan Hutchison earned himself a yellow card for an early tackle on Climo. From the resulting penalty lineout Macpherson drove over with Climo converting the Ayr bonus point try. With no-side rapidly approaching Armstrong put in a high box kick with Rowe leaping to snatch the ball from Thomson’s hands and off-loading to Gregor Henry whose try was converted by Climo. This was another match with two excellent defences with Ayr’s being marginally more efficient.
Ayr 38 Melrose 17
Ayr – Grant Anderson, Kyle Rowe, Paddy Kelly, Stafford McDowall, Rory Hughes, Frazier Climo, David Armstrong, Jamie Bhatti, Robbie Smith, Steven Longwell, David Corpenici, Marshall Sykes, Tommy Spinks, Gregor Henry, Blair Macpherson. Replacements – Pat McArthur, Ruairidh Sayce, Cam Reece, Daniel McCluskey, Robbie Nairn.
Melrose – Fraser Thomson, Bruce Colvine, Patrick Anderson, Craig Jackson, Iain Sim, Jason Baggott, Murdo McAndrew, Grant Shiells, Russell Anderson, Conor Young, James Head, Angus Runciman, Ruaridh Knott, Grant Runciman, Iain Moody. Replacements – Finlay Scott, Ruairi McLeod, Callum Wilde, Struan Hutchison, Gavin Wood.
Referee – Sam Grove-White. Assistants – Lloyd Linton & Alistair Watt.
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