Sunday, 8 September 2013

Ayr 29 Currie 0

Ayr set things right at Millbrae on Saturday with a convincing win over Currie.  After last week's deflating defeat to Melrose, the men in pink and black had a point to prove.  Alas, they couldn't prove it in the first half.

With the rain bucketing down and thunder and lightning forecast, it wasn't the environment for running rugby - or scoring points at all - in the opening forty minutes.  Both teams began with knocks-on in the slippery conditions.  Currie had the first chance to get on the board but stand-off Joe Reynolds missed his penalty kick.

Currie were in a determined mood, chasing their first win of the season, and their backs were as lively as they could be in the downpour.  But so were Ayr's.  Winger Craig Gossman made his return from injury and quickly had the crowd oohing and aahing with his trademark jinky runs. 

Finn Russell had his first start for Ayr since his trip to Canterbury on the McPhail Scholarship and put in a good shift.  Kerr Gossman was making inroads until he had to be replaced by Ross Curle, and full-back Grant Anderson displayed his usual strong running.

The forwards, too, are to be commended for keeping things steady in a very frustrating first half.  Glasgow Warriors' James Eddie, in for an injured Andrew Dunlop, certainly made an impression, barrelling around in the attack.  Second rows Scott Sutherland and Colin White not only showed skill at the line-out but also in the loose, Sutherland a safe pair of hands when others were - unintentionally - dropping the ball.  White put in some crashing tackles and tremendous drives before hobbling off to be replaced by Callum Templeton in the second half.

Currie had another unsuccessful shot at goal at twenty-eight minutes, and despite Ayr making for their line on several occasions, half-time came around with both teams scoreless.

The Millbrae faithful was getting a bit twitchy when Currie started the second half with a penalty kick, but it was again unsuccessful.  Ayr came to life shortly after, with an exciting kick-and-chase from Gossman and some sterling work to secure turnover ball from Eddie, White and Nick Cox.

At forty-six minutes, inside centre Dean Kelbrick blasted his way up the wing to get Ayr's first try.  Russell got the tricky conversion.  7-0.  Sighs of relief all round.

Currie lost a forward to the sin bin at fifty minutes for a high tackle on Curle.  Ayr applied the pressure, with Eddie and captain Calum Forrester throwing themselves into the attack, as did flanker Graham Fisken, who found himself on his knees to take a wayward pass from Russell.  There was good interplay between White and scrum-half Peter Jericevich, and even with Currie's scrum back to eight, Ayr managed to cause them all sorts of trouble. 

At sixty-five minutes, Kelbrick was bursting through again, this time releasing Curle to fly in for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it try.  Russell converted.  14-0.

A minute later, Templeton appeared on the wing and the big man stretched his legs to score a well-deserved try, with some help from fellow replacements Denford Mutamangira and Murray McConnell, who threw a couple of deft passes.  Russell's conversion was short.  19-0.

As the sun came out, Currie began to wilt and Ayr looked for the bonus point, getting it six minutes later, with Anderson sliding over the line.  He couldn't converted his own try.  24-0.

Kelbrick had been on fine form all day and got Ayr's fifth try four minutes before full time.  Anderson couldn't make the conversion. 

Despite Reynolds trying to create some scoring opportunities for Currie in the dying minutes of the match, there was no way through for the visitors.  The final score was Ayr 29 Currie 0.


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