Ayr are flying high at the top of the BT Premiership, shaking off the challenge of cup holders Boroughmuir who raised their game after a poor run of form but still couldn’t quite match the west coast club.
Maximum points were delivered by a late try as Muir went down by four tries to one in a game where they clung on tenaciously but had no answer to a powerful scrum that created the territory and possession to dictate the pattern of the game.
A year ago we would not have picked up a bonus point in a game like thisCalum Forrester
Afterwards Ayr coach Calum Forrester said: “Today’s game was quite frustrating for us with Boroughmuir defending so well it took a lot to break them down.
“A year ago we would not have picked up a bonus point in a game like this and that is where it is so important for the squad to be able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and seeing games out.”
For Muir it was equally frustrating as they gave their all but ended up empty handed and suffering their sixth successive defeat.
Coach Bruce Aitchison said: “I thought we matched them today but unfortunately the scoreboard doesn’t reflect that.
“The frustration is the players because they know they can do it and they have shown a lot more today than they have shown in the last few weeks.
“The performance was better and the boys showed massive togetherness and desire.”
Ayr started with single-minded purpose and Muir barely touched the ball in the first 15 minutes.
Winger Cameron Taylor thought he had scored in the corner only to be called back for a foot in touch.
Then No 8 Pete McCallum picked and went from the rear of a scrum and got to the line where loosehead prop George Hunter gathered the ball and was hustled over by his team-mates for the first try, simply converted by Frazier Climo.
Muir took the score as a wake-up call and stepped up a gear, carving out some field position for themselves until Ayr openside flanker Will Bordell couldn’t resist handling at a ruck and was dispatched to the sin bin.
It was Muir winger Jordan Edmunds who benefited. Faced with a gap in the defence where Bordell would have been he touched down under the posts. Dougie Steele converted.
But Ayr were ahead at half-time, calling a series of five metre scrums until the ball went wide to Climo at stand-off who looked one way then passed the other to wrong-foot the entire defence and give his captain Ross Curle the perfect angle to glide through for the try. Climo converted.
After the break Ayr dominated more and more however Muir, to their credit, refused to buckle and kept tackling anything that moved in front of them.
Climo and Steele exchanged penalties and McCallum, one of the outstanding players on the pitch, broke free in midfield to make almost 50 metres before he was felled.
Muir were gradually worn down by Ayr’s constant pressure and it was no surprise when replacement back row Graham Fisken went over in the corner.
Soon afterwards outside centre Archie Russell intercepted a weary pass on halfway and put another replacement Danny McCluskey in for the try that earned the bonus point. Climo converted.