BT PREMIERSHIP: AYR 46-22 STIRLING COUNTY

MATT VALLANCE @ Millbrae

AYR bounced back to winning ways after last week’s loss at Meggetland. Their pack was totally dominant against a weakened County eight, laying the foundations of this seven tries to three win.
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But, coach Calum Forrester knows, they his team need to find another gear for next week’s top of the table crunch with Hawks.

 

“It was great to win, but, fair play to County for their enterprise, they have given us something to work-on for next week”, he said.

 

Dave Adamson of County was: “Proud of the boys, particularly the guys who stepped-up from the seconds. We scored three decent tries, and played some fluid rugby, but Ayr’s pack was just too-strong for us”.

 

County’s defence held out under the most-intense pressure for 11 minutes before man-of-the-match George Hunter opened the scoring with a close-range breenge. Frazier Climo then added a penalty, before County’s brilliant running in broken play saw them go in front through a couple of quick-fire tries, through Matt Lamb taking advantage of Ayr being short-handed down their left; and a Ross Jones solo effort – putting through then recovering a grubber kick. Both scores were converted by Jonny Hope.

 

Pack power told however, and tries from Richard Dalgleish off a great Ross Curle miss pass, and Blair MacPherson pirating a ball which squirted out of the side of the County scrum had Ayr 20-14 ahead at the break.

 

Skipper Grant Anderson stretched the Ayr lead within seconds of the second half beginning, before Hope goaled a penalty for County. But converted tries from the charging D’arcy Rae, skipper Anderson again and replacement Jamie Bova had Ayr well clear, before Craig Pringle’s injury-time unconverted try for the gallant visitors completed an entertaining afternoon’s rugby.

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Teams –

 

Ayr: G Anderson; R Dalgleish, D McCluskey, R Curle, C Gossman; F Climo, D Armstrong; S Longwell, D Young, D Rae; C Stevenson, S Sutherland; G Hunter, W Bordill, B Macpherson. Replacements (all used): R Smith, C Brown, G Henry, J Bova, S McDowall.

 

Stirling: J Hope; M Lamb, J Cresswell, F Lyle, C Pringle; R Jones, N Kenatale; M Hunter, R Kennedy, C Hutton; H Burr, S Yarrow; M Emmison, S MacDonald, S Robertson. Replacements (all used): B Gilchrist, A Wood, H Henderson, M Donaldson, R Elliston.

 

Scorers –

 

Ayr: Tries: Hunter, Dalgleish, Macpherson, Anderson 2, D Rae, J Bova; Cons: Climo 2, R Curle 2; Pens: Climo.

Stirling: Tries: Lamb, Jones, Pringle; Cons: Hope 2; Pens: Hope.

 

Scoring sequence (Ayr first): 5-0, 8-0, 8-5, 8-7, 8-12, 8-14, 13-14, 18-14, 20-14 (half-time) 25-14, 25-17, 30-17, 32-17, 37-17, 39-17, 44-17, 46-17, 46-22.

 

Referee: R Mabon

 

Man-of-the-Match: Ayr’s George Hunter switched from prop to blind-side flanker, before reverting to his international position with the Bahamas, of number eight, and having an immense game in tight and loose.

 

Talking point: Just how, given their pack was being put through the mincer by a rampant Ayr eight, did County manage to take the lead in the first-half. Their broken-field play, on limited rations, was a credit to their club and themselves.


 
Image courtesy: George McMillan
About Matt Vallance 35 Articles
Matt is a former member of Cumnock Rugby Club's 'Mean Machine' - motto: "Well, we won the fight". He has written about some 60 sports in a long career, mainly spent freelancing for, amongst others: The Herald, The Scotsman, The Sunday Times, Scotland on Sunday, the late-lamented Sunday Standard and just about every national paper. He survived a spell at the Paisley Daily Express, covering St Mirren and the Paisley Pirates every week. He now writes a lot of sporting obituaries, since he saw many of his subjects play. Opinionated, passionate and, as one Bill McMurtire once said: "The only Cumnock member (other than Mark Bennett) who can be let out without an escort". In his 70th year, Matt, known to many as: 'Snuff', still has a few noses to get up. Unfulfilled ambition - to live long enough to see Scotland beat the All Blacks.