Ayr stepped up their RBS Premiership title defence with an impressive five-try show, eventually grinding down the resistance of an Accies side that paid the price for a lack of composure at vital moments of a compelling encounter between two of Scotland’s British & Irish Cup representatives.
Scorers: Edinburgh Accies: Tries – Godsmark, Reid. Con – Bonner. Ayr: Tries – Cox, Fergusson (2), Dunlop, Anderson: Cons – Curle, Jericevich (2) Pen – Curle.
With the impressive Ross Curle pulling the strings behind a powerful pack, and the elusive running of Robbie Fergusson posing a constant threat to the home defence, the champions looked like a side that is clicking into gear entering a crucial phase of the league campaign and will be difficult to dislodge from the top of the league table.
In the home ranks, the absence of injured playmaker Alex Blair was keenly felt, and the hosts appeared to have greater difficulty in dealing with the awkward conditions. But it was wayward kicking that proved to be Accies’ downfall – twice they booted aimlessly, providing fodder for an Ayr back line that relished every counter-attacking opportunity.
The sides largely nullified each other in an entertaining opening quarter, with a penalty by Curle the only score. However, the champions were displaying their steely edge and took their chances to claim tries by Nick Cox and Fergusson. By contrast, the hosts had their share of opportunities but lacked Ayr’s clinical finishing power.
However, Nyle Godsmark displayed impressive persistence to force his way over in the corner just before the half-time whistle. Then the hosts restarted well and Callum Reid powered over for a try, converted by Ruaridh Bonner which cut Ayr’s lead to a single point.
But they failed to build on that momentum and after weathering the pressure, Ayr displayed the mark of champions with further tries through Fergusson, Andy Dunlop and a late solo effort by skipper Grant Anderson, all three of which were converted to complete a fruitful afternoon in the capital.
While delighted with the result, Ayr coach Peter Laverie insists there is more to come from his side, who will travel east again this weekend for a top versus bottom clash at Currie.
“It was a very welcome five points away from home. Edinburgh Accies are very quick, and combative at the breakdown, and they put us under a wee bit of pressure,” he said. “We’ve got plenty of work to do, but I’m happy with where we are at this stage of the season.”
Edinburgh Accies: J Sole, J Farndale, E Campbell, I Berthinussen, N Godsmark, R Bonner, A Black, D Morrison, M Liness, S Strudwick, R Seydak, J McCarthy, G Campbell, R Snape, C Reid. Subs Used: A Allan, P Cringle, R Simpson, M Campbell, M Coupar.
Ayr: G Anderson, R Dalgleish, R Fergusson, D Kelbrick, K Gossman, R Curle, P Jericevich, D Mutamangira, F Scott, N Cox, B Cogley, S Sutherland, D Young, A Dunlop, P McCallum. Subs Used: S Fenwick, G Hunter, C Brown M McConnell, D McLuskey.
Referee: J Matthew.