LEAGUE leaders Ayr just edged a typically hard-fought west derby.
The first half was an arm wrestle, Gregor Hunter kicking the visitors in front with a 12th minute penalty, answered in kind by Frazier Climo on the half-hour. This home penalty coming at a time when they were a man short, with Grant Anderson in the sin-bin.
The second 40 minutes, however, were far more entertaining. Climo put Ayr ahead with a penalty, but the visitors regained the lead in 50 minutes, skipper Brendan McGroarty charging over.
But, Hawks’ lead was short-lived, with Ayr’s George Hunter touching down and Climo converting.
As the game moved into the final quarter, a Climo penalty made it 16-8 to Ayr, before the stand-off scored and converted a try after good work by Anderson and former Hawk Haddon McPherson.
Hawks, however, staged a grandstand finish and in the last minute Gregor Hunter’s recovery of his own kick ahead and some good continuity play by the pack, allowed replacement Erland Oag to touch down. Hunter converted, but time ran out with Hawks still vainly chasing a losing bonus point.