Ayr 36 - 7 Jed: Home side plough through to last four

Archie Russell helped Ayr win through to the BT Cup quarter-finals. Picture: Greg Macvean
Archie Russell helped Ayr win through to the BT Cup quarter-finals. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Ayr claimed their expected semi-final place in the BT Scottish Cup with this convincing five tries to one win over their National League opponents.

On a pitch which was the proverbial ploughed field, and with a ball which was as slippery as a bar of soap, in between the not-unexpected high number of handling errors the effort from both sides was total, with the Borderers giving their Premiership hosts a thorough work-out before going down.

It took Ayr 67 seconds to open their account, Frazier Climo and Archie Russell combining to put skipper Pete McCallum over, with Climo converting. The second try came in 15 minutes, Rob McAlpine winning a close-range lineout and tight-head Steven Longwell peeling round the front to go over. Climo, pictured, again converted via the back post.

But Jed looked dangerous on limited rations and, in 21 minutes, skipper Gregor Young made a superb solo break up the middle and off-loaded for Robin Shirra-Gibb to out-pace the cover and score, Robbie Yourston converting.

Ayr’s Scott Sutherland was then somewhat harshly yellow-carded, yet while he was off Ayr drove a lineout maul from outside the Jed 22, for Bordill to burrow over for his try. However, the try was unconverted.

Winger Jamie Bova was over in the corner, but adjudged to have knocked-on, but, from the scrum Ayr pushed Jed off their own ball and skipper Pete McCallum drove over for his second try, Climo converting with the last kick of the first half to make the interval scoreline 26-7.

Jed struggled to get out of their own 22 as Ayr attacked from the re-start and, in 47 minutes, the home team went further ahead when Craig Gossman won the sprint to get on to Archie Russell’s grubber kick through, with Climo missing the conversion.

Gossman completed the scoring in 55 minutes, squeezing in at the corner after a great move up the left involving Danny McCluskey and Bordill. Again, Climo failed to add the extras.

With both sides emptying their benches, and the ball becoming increasingly slippery, the level of rugby skills, if not the amount of effort shown, declined as the game ran its course.

Ayr might have scored more tries, but firm defence held them out, while Jed, again on less possession, also had their moments, without being able to get into the Ayr 22.

So, Ayr’s double dream continues, but the beaten Borderers went down fighting and did their division proud with their refusal to yield in the face of formidable opposition firepower.