Melrose’s Dalziel turns round side at break

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MELROSE coach John Dalziel likes the new ten-minute half-time break. He made terrific use of that period in this match, to turn around a game which appeared to be getting away from his side.

Scorers: Ayr – Try: R Curle. Pens: P Jericevich (2). Melrose – Tries: A Lockington, P Eccles, N Beavons, F Thomson, B Colvine; Con: H Leonard. Pens: A Skeen, H Leonard.

Referee: D Changleng.

“I thought we had been too fancy in the first half, so, I stressed discipline and doing the basics well, which we did to win the second half 25-0,” he said. “We’re only two games into the campaign, so I’m not getting carried away, but, this was a massive win for us, Ayr are never easy to beat and the quality of our second-half play really pleased me”.

Melrose’s discipline was shown in scoring their opening try, in six minutes.

Austin Lockington pirated Ayr possession, then, 18 phases later, found a gap to squeeze in at the corner for the opening try.

Hereafter, in a somewhat scrappy first half of dropped balls and poor option-taking, the visitors could add only an Andrew Skeen penalty, while two Peter Jericevich penalties and a well-worked Ross Curle try gave Ayr a three-point ­advantage at the break.

However, if their passes had stuck, the home side might have been well clear.

Peter Eccles capped a storming game with a 47th-minute try to restore Melrose’s lead, then Nick Beavons rumbled over, Harry Leonard converted and, with Ayr’s scrum weakened by Denford Mutamangira’s departure with a back injury, Melrose turned the screw.

Ayr’s discipline cracked, Scott Sutherland and Curle were yellow-carded in quick succession, with Leonard’s penalty and a superb Fraser Thomson try compounding the home side’s difficulties, before, late-on, Bruce Colvine capped a storming display: “He ran the game”, said Dalziel – with the final try for the now rampant visitors.

“We kicked badly, gave away too-many penalties and very well though Melrose played, losing Denford hurt us badly.

“I am extremely disappointed and can promise the players a hard week in training before Currie next week”, said Ayr coach Peter Laverie, who didn’t have the home debut he had hoped for.

Ayr: G Anderson; C Taylor, R Curle, R Fergusson, K Gossman; S Diez, P Jericevich; D Mutamangira, F Scott, N Cox, C White, S Sutherland, G Fiskin, A Dunlop, C Forrester. Subs used: J Malcolm, S Fenwick, C Templeton, M McConnell, R Dalgleish.

Melrose: F Thomson; D Hoyland, A Skeen, J Helps, A Lockington; R Mill, B Colvine; N Little, R Ferguson, N Beavons, P Perker, R Ovens, P Eccles, G Runciman, G Dodds. Subs used: C Keen, G Holburn, J Head, A Dodds, H Leonard.