THREE tries in 15 second-half minutes brought Ayr from behind to keep their ambitions of a league and cup alive.
The newly-crowned champions had the better of the first-half possession but poor options and even worse handling allowed a spirited County side, still on a high from last week’s win over Gala, to lead 7-0, courtesy of an early penalty try, converted by Brian Archibald.
Finn Russell opened Ayr’s account with a penalty before Stuart Edwards dropped a goal for the visitors, but an Andy Dunlop try, converted by Russell, made it 10-10 at half time.
A couple of half-time changes, Murray McConnell and Hayden Wisnewski coming on at scrum-half and hooker, turned the game the home team’s way. But a second Archibald penalty put County 13-10 ahead after 50 minutes before Ayr opened up and it was game over.
Richard Dalgleish touched down in 52 minutes and, almost directly from the resumption, Craig Gossman scorched away for Ayr’s third try. Ten minutes later, the winger produced a classic show-and-go for Ayr’s fourth try, all converted by Russell, to take Ayr into the semi-finals.