Melrose continued their dominance over Ayr with their fourth win over the Millbrae men on the bounce to reach the BT Scottish Cup final at BT Murrayfield next month.
And these sides will have it all to do again next Saturday, when they meet back at Millbrae in the BT Premiership play-off semi-final.
That match will, according to victorious Melrose coach John Dalziel, “be an entirely different kettle of fish”.
He explained: “I have told them, we have won nothing today and we will have to be even better next week.”
Opposite number Calum Forrester was naturally disappointed, but you get the impression he would rather win next week’s match, to confirm his side’s advantage in the regular league season was not for nothing.
“We will be giving it everything to get a result next week – we let ourselves down today,” he said.
Joe Helps kicked Melrose in front with a penalty in the opening minute, but Ayr hit back and lock Scott Sutherland sent winger Craig Gossman over for a try, brilliantly converted by Frazier Climo, to put Ayr 7-3 ahead after 18 minutes.
A second Climo penalty stretched Ayr’s lead but the first of two yellow cards conceded by the home side, for flanker Will Bordill, gave Melrose a platform from which scrummage pressure forced a penalty try converted by Helps, and it was 10-10 at the break.
Climo gave Ayr the lead again with a second penalty goal, but Helps replied in kind in 68 minutes.
Again, indiscipline cost Ayr dear. Skipper Ross Curle was yellow-carded and Melrose took advantage, with prop Nick Beavon crashing over at the post for the clinching try, converted by Helps.