AYR’S higher fitness level carried them to victory in a scrappy match, writes Matt Vallance at Millbrae.
An early Sylvan Diez penalty and a superb solo try, off an advancing scrum, by number eight Blair McPherson, converted by Diez, had Ayr 8-0 ahead after the first quarter. That try came while Accies were down to 14 men, with Ed Stuart sin-binned. But, even before he was back, Accies scored a try, through skipper Greg Campbell.
From the second-half kick-off, Accies put together a great phase of continuity rugby for Jamie Sole, pictured, to crash over, from Sam Pecqueur’s sublime off-load and although that try, like the first, was unconverted, Accies led 10-8.
Accies scavenged magnificently, if not always legally, and stretched their lead, as Ruairidh Young skipped over.
However, a yellow card for Accies’ Jack Marples allowed Ayr a way back. Off a penalty line-out, McPherson barged over for his second try, converted by replacement Tom Hiddleston, and, with Accies visibly wilting, Grant Anderson was put over by Danny McCluskey. Hiddleston missed that coversion, but, his penalty, after a stupid shoulder charge by Lewis Niven was penalised, saw Ayr safely home.