It was a good day to be a Watsonians fan but a bad day for the pink and black travelling support as they watched Ayr squander an eight-point lead and be beaten at the death in the BT Premiership.
It wasn't a promising start for the visitors at Myreside, as Watsonians showed their ambition and determination from the get-go, full-back Max McFarland flying over only for the try to be disallowed thanks to a forward pass.
Scrums were exchanged with both sides holding their own. But Watsonians had the majority of the possession and did more with it. Any scrap that came their way was utilised to their advantage. An Ayr chip was swallowed up and fed on to their first try-scorer, centre DJ Innes. Stand-off Andrew Chalmers missed the conversion. 5-0.
Ayr lock Robert McAlpine steadied the ship at the line-out, scrum-half David Armstrong firing the ball on to McAlpine's second row partner Scott Sutherland who popped up in mid-field before flanker Ruaridh Mackenzie - making his first start for Ayr - spotted a gap and chipped on.
It came to nothing and before long, the home team had a line-out and flanker Angus Duckett almost strolled over in the corner. There was no conversion again. 10-0.
Watsonians were pushing Ayr to the limit with their attacking play and there was some fast thinking and even faster tackles from stand-off Danny McCluskey, centre Stafford McDowall and tireless prop Steven Longwell to contain the threat.
More points came Watsonians' way thanks to a Chalmers penalty. 13-0.
Ayr gathered themselves together, secured a turnover and winger Craig Gossman appeared with ball in hand, almost jogging along the touchline, before centre Archie Russell hit a good line to break through the defence and winger Richard Dalgleish rushed over for the try. Full-back Grant Anderson was on kicking duty but the angle was too wide for him. 13-5.
It was possibly Anderson's bleeding forehead that distracted him as he tried to convert and he temporarily left the field to be attended to, with Jamie Bova coming on.
There were some unfortunate occurrences for both teams, with Ayr crossing as they headed for the line and Watsonians' resulting kick for the corner going completely wonky. Armstrong was under the ball and he launched McCluskey into attack, with hooker Robbie Smith and Sutherland in support, but they were hustled into touch.
Chalmers stretched his team's lead with another penalty. 16-5.
McCluskey took his leave briefly with Paddy Dewhirst deputising and looking at home, his terrific jinking run to the line allowing number eight Blair Macpherson to cross for Ayr's second and his eighth of the season. Anderson converted. 16-12.
McCluskey returned to the field after half-time but his permanent departure was only a few minutes away. Some sniping work by Armstrong and a half-break by Russell meant things were looking up for Ayr, but the sight of McCluskey leaving the field on a stretcher due to a lower leg injury was a definite downer for the men in pink and black.
Dewhirst was back on and got stuck into some thumping runs with Russell and McDowall. Ayr drove for the line and prop Djustice Sears-Duru, Glasgow's Canadian international, burrowed over for the score, with the conversion by Anderson. 16-19.
Chalmers then evened things up with a penalty. 19-19.
Watsonians went down to fourteen men when winger Keith Young was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.
There was a reshuffle as club captain Pete McCallum made his comeback from injury, with Macpherson moving from eight to blindside flanker, George Hunter moving from there to his usual position of prop and Sears-Duru moving off the field.
Watsonians launched another spirited attack but dropped the ball; Armstrong was on it in a flash, McCallum backing him up and Dalgleish then charging, chipping, collecting and scoring in style. Anderson missed the conversion. 19-24.
Gossman looked like he was about to do the same, but his chip came off a Watsonians boot and bobbled off the pitch. The ensuing line-out allowed Ayr's backs to run, McDowall and Anderson pinning their ears back, but they were pinged for obstruction.
There was a slightly frantic period as Watsonians looked like they didn't know what to do with the ball and ended up knocking on. McCallum broke from the back of the scrum and passed to Armstrong, who made a scurrying break. They lost possession but soon regained it, McCallum thumping his way up the pitch until Anderson got another three points from a penalty. 19-27.
Chalmers quickly replied. 22-27.
The home crowd could sense something and cheered on their team but their good attack came undone when a stray foot nudged the ball into touch.
Possession changed hands a few times as the metaphorical clock ticked down, but Watsonians kept a hold of the ball and despite the attentions of Russell, replacement hooker David Young, McDowall and Sears-Duru (back on for Longwell), they moved it brilliantly from their own half and patiently waited until Young crossed in the corner. With the scores level, it was up to replacement Ali Harris to nail the touchline conversion, which he did, to the rapturous applause of the home fans. 29-27.
It was the final play of the game, the referee's whistle inaudible over the celebrations.
- Elena Hogarth.