Sunday, 10 January 2016
Ayr 78 Selkirk 0
It's been an extremely difficult season for the promoted Borders side; after winning every league fixture last year, they have recorded only one win in the BT Premiership. Their relegation already confirmed, and recalling the run-around they gave Ayr at Philiphaugh back in October, the hosts were anticipating a tough match.
However, once Ayr captain Ross Curle opened the scoring after touching down a ball he had hacked on, there was no looking back for the Millbrae men. Frazier Climo added the conversion. 7-0.
Number eight Pete McCallum - who shared the man-of-the-match award with flanker Blair Macpherson - scored the first of his three tries shortly after Ayr had been held up. Climo converted. 14-0.
Selkirk tried to make their way out of their own half with some strong running from full-back Dashton Wellman, but their good work was undone by unforced errors.
Ayr had their fair share of mistakes too, with handling suffering in the slippery conditions. But Selkirk couldn't capitalise. No sooner had number eight Callum Marshall run off than Ayr turned over.
The visitors struggled at the scrum and Ayr were ruthless. The next try came from Climo after full-back Grant Anderson knocked over defenders like skittles. The stand-off converted his own score. 21-0.
Selkirk were understandably frustrated and tempers boiled over as lock Peter Forrest and Ayr prop D'arcy Rae engaged in some non-verbal arguing that resulted in a ticking-off from French referee Ludovic Cayre.
Selkirk set off with ball in hand again but the tackles from Ayr were too tough and the hosts soon had possession again. Scrum-half David Armstrong made a break before Ayr got a penalty and Macpherson scored from the line-out. Climo added the extras. 28-0.
Winger Craig Gossman was next on the score sheet, sliding over in the corner from a Curle chip. It was too wide an angle for Climo to convert. 33-0.
Ayr's forwards were bashing their way up the park, with prop George Hunter and hooker James Malcolm leading the way, and second rows Rob McAlpine and Scott Sutherland stretching those long legs to gallop away.
It went from bad to worse for the visitors with hooker Damian Byrne in the sin bin. Ayr centre Archie Russell scurried away and there were again some handling woes until Gossman scored out of nowhere. Climo's conversion drifted wide. 38-0.
Ayr then stole Selkirk's line-out just before half-time and excellent running from Anderson, winger Richard Dalgleish and flanker Will Bordill saw Anderson over line. Climo converted. 45-0.
The home team reached their half-century just after the resumption when McCallum flew over unopposed from the back of the scrum for an unconverted try. 50-0.
All credit must go to Selkirk, who couldn't have been feeling any lower, for attempting to attack. But they couldn't get out of their own half and once Ayr regained possession, the hosts camped out in their twenty-two and Macpherson crashed over for his second try, which Climo converted. 57-0.
Long, loopy passes didn't hurt Ayr and McCallum was over for his hat-trick. It was a tiring day for the mascot, trotting through the mud with the kicking tee, but Climo was still full of energy and got the conversion. 64-0.
Selkirk had their chances as Ayr gave away some silly penalties, but again could get nowhere. With the clock ticking down, Dalgleish ran through some very tired defenders and got the twelfth and final try, with Climo racking up his ninth conversion. 78-0.
There was a bright spot for the visitors as their vice-president won the £100 half-time draw and gave the cash to his players for refreshments on the long journey back to Selkirk.
Ayr, still at the top of the table, will be on the road to the Borders next week, as they head to Mansfield Park to take on Hawick in the penultimate league game.
- Elena Hogarth.
Photos by George McMillan.