BT Premiership League Final
The "Play-off" final of the 2016/17 BT Premiership was played on a sunny Greenyards, but with a cold breeze blowing diagonally down the pitch. Ayr had the benefit of the breeze in the first half, but the first score fell to Melrose with Jason Baggott kicking a penalty at 13 minutes. Frazier Climo levelled the scores with a penalty at 20 minutes then gave Ayr the lead kicking penalties at 26 & 35 minutes, the site for his third penalty being advanced from the Ayr 10m line to the Melrose 22, where the ball landed, after a late challenge on the stand-off by a Melrose forward. Both defences were magnificent during this half with neither attack being allowed to dominate.
Half time - Melrose 3 Ayr 9
Eleven minutes into the second half Climo kicked his fourth penalty and, unfortunately, Baggott was wide with a similar award three minutes later. With 63 minutes played Melrose won a penalty lineout in St. Mary's Corner the ball passing through several pairs of hands to the Church Corner, back to St. Mary's Corner and then out to Ruaridh Knott, in the Church Corner, who bullocked his way through the Ayr defence to score the only try of the match far out on the left side. Baggott'sconversion attempt, unfortunately, was wide of the mark. During the last ten minutes Melrose were awarded several penalties within the Ayr 22 and, on 78 minutes, with the Melrose maul heading for the line Peter McCallum caused the maul to collapse and, for his sins, was sent to the sin bin. Arguably his reward should have been a penalty try, but, instead, he was awarded the "Man of the Match". Instead of taking a scrum five, with a higher chance of winning the ball, Melrose opted to kick for touch and Ayr finished the match by stealing the lineout ball, eventually kicking it out of play to secure the Championship.
Melrose 8 Ayr 12
Melrose - Fraser Thomson, Austin Lockington, Nyle Godsmark, Craig Jackson, Sam Pecqueur, Jason Baggott, Murdo McAndrew, Jamie Bhatti, Russell Anderson, Ruairi McLeod, James Head, Ruaridh Knott, Neil Irvine-Hess, Grant Runciman, Iain Moody. Replacements - Cammie McKay, Dan Elkington, Nick Beavon, Ally Grieve, Peter Eccles, Bruce Colvine, George Taylor.
Ayr - Grant Anderson, Danny McCluskey, Archie Russell, Stafford McDowal, Craig Gossman, Frazier Climo, David Armstrong, George Hunter, Lewis Anderson, Steve Longwell, Robert McAlpine, Scott Sutherland, Blair Macpherson, Will Bordill, Peter McCallum. Replacements - David Young, Djustice Sears-Duru,
Adam Prentice, Gregor Henry, Harry Warr, Jamie Bova, Richard Dalgleish.
Referee - Mike Adamson, Assistants - Keith Allan & David Sutherland.