Ayr 24 Dundee High 13
Ayr were back on home turf and back on form yesterday as they ran three tries past a well-organised and fast-paced Dundee High.
After a blast of hail and some heavy showers in the morning, Millbrae was soggy underfoot. Although the home team coped better with the conditions, it was Dundee who got off to a good start with a kick at goal in the first five minutes. Fly-half Cam Brown was successful with the penalty, opening the scores at 0-3.
Ayr struck back three minutes later, with a determined drive for Dundee’s line. Flanker John Willis burrowed over, and with Andy Wilson’s conversion, Ayr led 7-3. This spurred on the men in pink and black, and they launched into a series of ferocious tackles, forcing errors from Dundee.
The slippery conditions caused problems for both sides, with several knocks-on marring proceedings. However, Dundee upped their game and their handling skills, moving the ball swiftly for winger Ross Lemon to cross the try line in the twentieth minute. Brown converted to put Dundee into the lead at 7-10.
Undaunted, Ayr continued to challenge the visitors, with some great runs in particular from new boy Denford Mutamangira, who endeared himself to the home crowd. Hard work from flankers Willis and Robbie Colhoun brought turn-overs, and at thirty minutes, second row Colin White gave Ayr their second try. Another excellent conversion from Wilson saw the home team re-take the lead, 14-10.
Although the set pieces were messy due to the mire, Ayr managed to steal several Dundee line-outs. However, it was the away team who had the chance for points at the close of the first half. Brown had two attempts at goal, succeeding with his second, to take Dundee within a point of Ayr at 14-13.
Ayr continued to maraud their way through the mud in the second half. Dundee’s Chris Cumming found himself in the sin bin, giving Wilson a shot at goal, which he duly took, making the score 17-13. Five minutes later, the pattern was reversed, with Ayr replacement AJ McFarlane receiving a yellow card and Dundee getting a kickable penalty, which Brown missed.
Some strategic kicking and committed tackling forced more fumbles from Dundee. A great kick to touch from Ayr’s Ross Curle eventually led to the Millbrae men’s third try. Scrum-half Murray McConnell found his way over in the corner at sixty-two minutes. Wilson’s successful touchline conversion stretched Ayr’s lead to 24-13.
Dundee seemed determined to claw their way back into the match in the final quarter, but Ayr’s defence was just too good. A fourth try from Ayr looked likely, with Wilson combining with his fellow winger Cammy Taylor to move the play into Dundee’s half, but Ayr were penalised right on the line.
The game began to lose its shape, but Dundee still pressed on. As the clock ticked over to eighty-five minutes, Dundee were eventually hauled into touch to bring the match to a close. Final score Ayr 24 Dundee High 13.
- Eléna Hogarth.