AYR came out on top of a gritty Ayrshire derby thanks to a penalty try earned by their dominant scrum and four penalties from the boot of Scott Lyle. On the tight pitch at Fullarton Park, and with so much local pride at stake, this was always likely to be a war of attrition, and in the end the greater experience and power of the visiting side – plus a one-man advantage for most of the game after Kyle Hetherell was sent off for a spear tackle – saw last season’s champions home.
Grant Anderson of Ayr and Angus Johnstone of Marr also saw yellow after a fracas in the idle of the park during the first half.
“It was a typical derby match. There was a couple of tussles early on and that set the tone. We knew it was going to be a tight game but stuck to the script and picked up the win. They had a really proud home record so anyone who gets a result there has done well, and I’m sure a few other teams will come a cropper there before the end of the season,” said Ayr coach Callum Forrester.
“We were missing six or seven frontline players through injury so it was a real test of the strength in depth of our squad, and I think the boys stood up well.”
“This was a great day for Ayrshire rugby. It was a he crowd and really lively atmosphere – so hopefully it was an enjoyable experience and we’ll see some of these new faces again during the remainder of the season.
Colin Sturgeon kicked two penalties for Marr’s six points.