Match Reports

BT Premiership Round 13 Melrose vs Ayr

06 Jan 2018

At the thirteenth time of asking the bubble burst, and without either victory or a losing bonus point. With the elements cold and bright the only differences from the postponed match four weeks ago were a softer pitch and the absence of two starting personnel from each side. With four minutes played a penalty lineout in the Church Corner was followed by Steven Longwell burrowing over for a try converted by Scott Lyle. On 24 minutes Peter McCallum retired from the field of play with a shoulder injury, being replaced by Jonny Agnew. Two minutes later Grant Anderson was sent to the sin bin for kicking the ball out of an attacking opponent's hand just short of the line, in the Policeman's Corner. From the resulting penalty lineout maul Melrose spread the ball wide left to the stand side corner and then back across to the Policeman's Corner where George Taylor gratefully received Iain Moody's reverse pass to slip over for a try which Craig Jackson converted from the touch-line. Two minutes later Ayr's woes deepened as Agnew, who had only been on the field for seven minutes, was yellow carded for an off the ball tackle. From the resultant penalty lineout, in the Policeman's Corner, Richard Ferguson ended the driven maul with a try. Unfortunately, Jackson's attempted conversion from the touch line hit the left hand upright and stayed out. The half ended with Lyle kicking a penalty.

Half time: Melrose 12 Ayr 10

The 'street-wise' Ayr pack dominated the first quarter of an hour of the second half, but despite a yellow card for Ruairi McLeod, who, also, had only been on the field for a few minutes, for apparently dropping a scrum, they were unable to cross the white-wash. At 60 minutes a long box kick by David Armstrong was dealt with difficulty by an out of sorts Fraser Thomson whose chip out of defence went straight to Craig Gossman who, after making a little ground, off-loaded to Rob McAlpine who strode over the line for a try, converted by Lyle, to give Ayr the lead. At this point Thomson was forced to leave the action. Despite some pressure latterly Melrose were unable to add to their score, and a penalty by Lyle, with three minutes remaining, denied Melrose a losing bonus point.

Melrose 12 Ayr 20

Melrose: Fraser Thomson, George Taylor, Nyle Godsmark, Craig Jackson, Ross McCann, Jason Baggott, Bruce Colvine, Dan Elkington, Russell Anderson, Nick Beavon, Angus Runciman, Iain Moody, Ruaridh Knott, Grant Runciman, Ally Miller. Replacements: Richard Ferguson, Ruairi McLeod, James Head, Rory Darge, Gavin Wood.

Ayr: Grant Anderson, Paddy Dewhirst, Matt Davidson, Stafford McDowall, Craig Gossman, Scott Lyle, David Armstrong, Robin Hislop, Robbie Smith, Steven Longwell, Rob McAlpine, Blair MacPherson, Tommy Spinks, George Stokes, Peter McCallum. Replacements: Jonny Agnew, George Hunter, Ruairidh Sayce, Harry Warr, Sam Graham.

Referee: Keith Allan. Assistants: John Ferrie & Bob Nevins.


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